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' These local annals are full of little things ; names, dates, and facts : and rumors of every 
sort, which seem, at first sight, almost too trifling to be noticed : and yet, not only is it 
true, that the general historian must essentially depend on the local, to a very considera- 
ble extent, for the mass of loose seeds from which the spirit of his narrative should be 
laboriously distilled : but it is also true, that there is almost always a good deal of 
that spirit alreadj' made in such materials at his hand. Many of these little things which 
we speak of, are little only in size and name. 'I hey are full of rich meaning. They are 
graphic and characteristic in a high degree. They suggest far more than they say. They 
illustrate classes of men, and ages of time. They are small but brilliant lights on the 
walls of the past, pouring floods of splendor from their little niches on the vast abysses 
around them.' Auebican Quarterly Review, June, 1836. 



18 6 2. 

Entered according to tlie act of Congress, in the year 1 83G, 


In the Clerk's OiEce of the District Court of Massachusetts. 


ExcejDt for the -warm encouragement of the general design of this history, without 
knowledge of the manner of its execution, it would have perished. If there is any merit 
in the preservation of the facts it contains, it is yours : the errors are those of the com- 
piler. On the completion of the work, his highest gratification is derived, from the 
opportunity of expressing veneration for the character of the beloved pastor, and grati- 
tude for the communications, which, rightly used, would have given value to the volume 
now respectfully dedicated to you, who have contributed more than all others to perpet- 
uate the memory of the events and men of Worcester in past times. 


There are few employments of industry more humble than in the compilation of local 
annals. It should be permitted to him who has finished his task, to explain why it was 
undertaken, and how it has been accomplished. 

In 1792, a memoir of four paj^cs, by Timothy Paine, William Young, Edward Bangs, and 
Samuel Stearns, relating to Worcester, was communicated to the Massachusetts Histor- 
ical Society, and published in the volume of their collections for that year. The mate- 
rials furnished by these gentlemen, were transferred by the Rev. Peter Whitney to his 
History of the C ranty. Th? ssrmons of the Il3v. Dr. Bancroft in 1811, 1825, and 1836, 
and the Address of Hon. John Davis, May 2, 182.5, with their appended notes and doc- 
uments, contain many facts illustrative of civil and ecclesiastical condition. These were 
the only printed narratives of the settlement and progress of Worcester. It seemed 
desirable, while it was y3t possible, to gather the fast fading traditions and scattered rec- 
ords of the past, and preserve more full view of our local history, than was permitted 
by the limits of religious discourse and festival address, or accorded with the plan of for' 
mer writers. 

To accomplish this object, the files and records of the colonial and provincial govern- 
ments ; of the original proprietors, of the town, and its parishes, churches, and societies, 
of the county courts and registries, and the series of newspapers from their commence- 
ment, have b33n examined : private journals and papers, the recollections of the aged 
inhabitants, the treasures of the garrets, and the knowledge of the race in active life, 
have been collected, with some labor. In the execution of the work, the result of these 
examinations, there has b3en no effort for literary excellence, and none can be expected. 
The primary purpose has bean accuracy. In the multitude of facts and dates there will 
doubtless be found many and great errors ; it will be consolation when they are discov. 
ered, that they have not resulted from want of disposition or exertion to be correct. 
Reliance has seldom been placed on tradition, when it was not confirmed by better evi- 
dence, or corroborated by the concurrent testimony of records. Wherever it has 
been practicable, reference has been made to the authority for statements, that their truth 
might be tested. 

The work has been extended diffusely, and probably tediously and unprofitably. The 
events of the history of the town were closely interwoven with those of the county, and 
semed to demand detailed notice from this connection ; and at every step, matters of 
curious interest, which it seemed impossible to reject, arose to seduce from the direct 
path of narrative, until the annals of the. vil!ag3 have become as voluminous as the rec- 
ords of an empire. 

The language of original papers has been constantly preferred, wherever it could be 
used, to the words of the compiler, lest by changing forms of expression, something of 
the fidelity of delineation and vividness of description of the actors in the scenes of the 


past, should be lost. The modes of spelling, which were erroneous in the days when they 
were used, have not been retained ; but the ancient documents transcribed, except those 
copied in the appendix, have been made to conform to modern orthography. Names 
of persDas and places have been printed as they were found written in the manuscripts 
consulted, or books quoted ; although by following this rule, the same word has been 
made to assume various and sometimes strange forms, on different pages. 

The general plan of arrangement, affording convenience in tracing the course and con- 
nection of events, and facility of reference, has been imitated from Mr. Shattuck's His- 
tory of Concord. It would have been greatly desirable that the excellence of this model 
could have been more fully copied. 

Th3 comparative length of the biographical memoirs will be found sometimes to have 
b33n determined more by the means of information than the merits of the subjects of the 
sketches. In relation to living persons, the dates of birth have, with few exceptions, 
been intentionally omitted. 

The pleasant duty of acknowledgment for kindness remains. Some, to whom heavy 
debt of gratitude was due for aid, have gone down to the grave while these sheets have 
been in preparation, with the rich mines of their recollections unexhausted. 

There is scarcely an individual named in the succeeding pages, who has not contrib- 
uted good wishes or useful information. The compiler has been under great obligations 
to Rev. Dr. Bancroft, Mr. Thomas Rice, Edward D. Bangs, Esq., Hon. Nathaniel Paine, 
Samuel Jennison, Esq., Dr. John Green, Isaac Davis, Esq., to the clerks of the town and 
parishes ; and to Joseph Willard, Esq., Mr. Samuel G. Drake, and Rev. Joseph B. 
Felt of Boston, for many courtesies, communications,, and valuable papers. 



Chaptf.R T. First PerloJ, from 1661: to 1675: first settlement. Grants to Increase 
Nowell and Thomas Noyes. Report of exploring Committee, 1663. Petition of 
Committee of settlement, 16G9. rrnjcct for settlement. Difficulties with Hphraim 
Curtis, 167+. Indian deed. Grants of lands to settlers, 167.3. View of the plan- 
tation, in 1075, Hostilities with the Indians. Settlement abandoned. 9 

CHArTfR II. King Philip's war 1675, 1676. The Nipmuck country. Indian Settle- 
ments Visit of Gookin and Elliot. Attack of Quaboag. Ephraim Curtis. I'lnn- 
ehas Upham. Henchman's expedition. Quinsigamond burnt. Henchman's second 
expedition. Sagamore John surrenders. Mattoonus shot. Executions in Boston. 
Destruction of the Indians. 21! 

Chat PER III. 1677 to 1713. Second settlement. Indian deed, 1677. Meeting of 
Planters, 1678. Henchman's agreement, 1681. Citadel. Survey. Mills built. 
Kame of Worcester. Lots laid out. New Committees. Captain Fitch's letter. 
Queen Anne's war. Town abandoned. Digory Sergent killed. Elisha Ward. 
Indian Hostilities. Petition for resettlement refused, 1709. 32 

Chapter IV. 1713 to 1722. Third settlement to incorporation. Petition, 1713, 
New Committee. Report, 1714. First settlers. Jonas Hice. Gershom Rice. 
Nathaniel Moore. Garrisons. .Mills. Roads. View of the town, 1718. Grants to 
proprietors. Scotch and Irish emigrants. Town incorporated, ll'l'l. 42 

Chapter V. 1723 to 1765. Lovell's war and French wars. Selectmen's petition, 
172 K Gershom Rice's letter, 1724. Uriah Ward. Coloael Chandler's orders. 
Selectmen's petition, 172'i. Captain Wrijihi's letters. Benjamin Flagg's Utter, 
1725. County established 1731. Gov. Belcher's visit, 173o. Soldiers. Excise, 1754. 
French neutrals. 1755. Military exertions, 1756. Colonel Chandler's report, 1757. 
Men in service during French wars. Divsion of the County and removal of the 
courts opposed. 51 

Ch^\pter VI. 1765 to 1775. American Revolution. Instructions, 1766, 1767. Res- 
olutions, 1768. Covenant, 1768. Tea. Votes, 1773. Committee of Correspondence, 
1773. Political Society. Peter Oliver. Address of Grand Jury, 1774. Report on 
grievances, 1774. Instructions. Protest of royalists. Town Meeting. Record 
expunged. Non consumption covenant and oath. Mandamus counsellors. Assem- 
bly of the people. Alarm. Minute men. Courts stopped. County Convention. 
Sheritf Chandler. William Campbell. Instructions. Blacksmith's convention. 
Depot of military stores. 65 

Chapter VII. 1775 to 1783. American Revolution. Preparations for war. Instruc- 
tions, 1775. Survey of British officers. Commencement of hostilities. Alarm of 
April 19. March of minute men. Tories disarrae I. Memori:il of officers. Royalist 
confessions. Clark Chandler. British prisoners. Poor of Boston. Military 
requisitions. Fourth of July, 1776. Begulation of prices. Detail of levies of 
troops, contributions, exertions, and proceedings, during the war. County Conven- 
tions. Constitution. Excise. Peace restored. Proceedings as to refugees. 94 

Chapter VIII. 1782 to 1787. Iitsurrection. I^istresses of the people. County Con- 
ventions, 1782, 1784, 1786. Court stopped, Sept. I7s6. Spirited conduct of Judge 
Ward. Proceedings of the insurgents. Convention, Sept. 1786. Town meeting, 
Oct. 1786. Court of Sessions interrupted. Sheriff Greenleaf. Insurgents occupy 
the town, Dec. 1786. Militia of Worcester appear in arras for the government. 
Captain Howe. Consultations of the insurgents. Distresses of their retreat. 
General Lincoln's army. AflFair at New Braintree. Dispersion of the insurgents. 115 


Chapter IX. deception of Wasliington, 1789. Memorial on the treaty with England, 
]7!)7. Volunteers, 1798. Funeral honors to Washin»ton, 1800. Militia, volunteer, 
1807. Boston memorial, 1808. War of 1812. British prisoners. Troops called 
into service, 1814. Visit of Lafayette, 1821:. Amendments of the Lonstitution. 
Benefactions of Isaiah Thomas. Incorporation of Holden and Ward. Proposed 
division of the county. 132 


Chapter X. First Parish. First meeting houses. Rev. Andrew Gardner. Difficul- 
ties on his dismission. Mr. Bourne. Hev. Isaac Burr. Visit of Whitefield. 
Church Covenant, 1746. Rev. ThaddeusMaccarty. Controversy about church music. 
Seating the meeting house. Difficulties ending in the separation of the .Second I'ar- 
ish. Mr. 8tory. Hev. Samuel Austin. Church Covenant. Rev. Charles A. Good- 
rich. Rev. Aretius B. Hull. Rev. Rodney A. Miller. Presbyterian Church, 1719. 
Rev. Edward Fitzgerald. Rev. William Johnston, 141 

Chapter XI. Second Congregational Society. Separation from the first Parish. 
Difficulties. Church formed. Covenant. Rev. Aaron Bancroft ordained, 17.^6. 
Society incirporated, 1787. Rev. Alonzo Hill ordained, 1827. Votes of Parish and 
Church. Memoir of Rev. Dr. Bancroft. 166 

Chapter Xn. First Baptist Society. Formation, 1812. Rev. William Bentley. Arti- 
cles of faith. Rev. Jcnathan Going. Kev. Frederic A. Willard. Kev. Jonathan 
Aldrich. Elm Street Society, 183B. Calvinist Society. Separation from first church, 
1820. Formation of Society, 1822. Rev. Loanimi L Hoauley. House and Fund 
bestowed by Hon. Daniel Waldo. Rev. John S. C. Abbott. Kev. David Peabody. 
Catholic Society, 1834. Rev. James Fitton. Methodist Episcopal Society, 1&34. 
Protestant Episcopal Society, 1835. Rev. Thomas H. V^ail. Union Society, 1836, 175 


Chapter XIII. Professional men. Biographical notices of the Practitioners, Coun- 
sellors, and Attorneys at law, and Physicians, before and since the Revolution. 190 

Chapter XIV. Graduates of Colleges, and natives of the town who have received 
liberal education. Distinguished citiiens. John Chandler. Capt. Jonas Hubbard. 
Col. Timothy Bigelow. Col. Ephraim Doolittle. David Thomas. Benjamin Hey- 
■ffood. Joseph Allen. Isaiah Thomas. 221 


Chapter XV. Education. Common Schools. Centre District Schools. Private Instruc- 
tion. Manual Labor High School. Mount St. James Seminary. 248 

Chapter XVI. Population. Emigration. Morality. Valuation. Taxation. Sup- 
port of the Poor. Communication. Stages. Manufactures. Trade. 259 

Chapter XVII. Societies and Institutions. Medical District Society. Antiquarian 
Society. Agricultural Society. Historical Society. Atheneum. Banks. Insur- 
ance Companies. Savings Institution, Various Associations. Military Companies. 
Newspapers and Periodicals. 270 


Chapter XVIII. Situation. Boundaries. Extent. Divisions. Streets and Roads. 
Turnpikes. Blackstone Canal. Rail Roads. I'ublic Buildings. Public Lands. 
Burial Places. Face of the Town. Ponds. Streams. Hills. Mines and Min- 
erals. 280 

Chapter XIX. Municipal Officers. Selectmen. Clerks. Treasurers. Representa- 
tives. Fire Department. Fires and accidents by lightning. 296 

Appendix, i. Petition for a plantation, Oct. 8, 1G65. n. Order of the General Court, 
Oct. 11, 1665. m. Order of the General Court, May 15, 1667. iv. First Indian 
Deed, July 13, 1674. v. Order of Council to Capt. Edward Hutchinson, July 27, 
1675. VI. Order of Council, Sept. 15, 1675. vii. Instructions for Capt. Joseph Sill, 
Nov. 2, 1675. viii. Second Indian Deed, Feb. 12, 1677. ix. Order of the General 
Court, 1679. x. Votes for Governor since 1780. xi. Notice of Daniel Shaya. 
xi[. Statements in relation to trade, manufactures, and business, xitr. Executions. 
XIV. Festivale. Fourth of July. 302 




First Period, from 1664 to 1675 : first settlement. Grants to Increase Nowell and Thomas 
Noyes. Report of exploring Committee, 1668. Petition of Committee of settlement, 
1669. Project for settlement. Difficulties with Ephraim Curtis, 1674. Indian Deed. 
Grants of lands to settlers, 1675. View of the plantation, in 1675. Hostilities with 
the Indians. Settlement abandoned. 

Few years elapsed after the first settlement of Massachusetts before the out- 
posts of cultivation were advanced far and fast into the wilderness. The stream 
of emigration soon began to flow westward from its fountain. Eight years after 
the landing of the Pilgrims, in 1028, Salem was planted. The next year, 
Lynn was inhabited. In 1630, Boston was founded, and Cambridge and 
Watertown occupied. Concord was purchased of the natives and commenced 
in 1635. Sudbury, begun in 1638, sent out colonies to Marlborough, incor- 
porated in 1660. The swelling population pushed farther onward the frontier 
of improvement. The fertile country around Worcester early attracted atten- 
tion. When the title of the vast region, acquired from the defeated savage, 
vested, by undisputed right, in the whole people, the wise policy of govern- 
ment encouraged settlement, while it rewarded patriotic exertions in the pub- 
lic service, and aided objects and institutions of general utility, by gratuities 
of portions of the forest. In 1657, May 6, a grant of 3200 acres of land 
was made to Mr. Increase Nowell, of Charlestown.^ May 6, 1662,^ 1000 
acres were bestowed on the church in Maiden, to be forever appropriated to 
the use of its ministry : Oct. 19, 1664, 250 acres were given to Ensign Thomas 
Noyes, of Sudbury, who had served under Capt. Hugh Mason. ^ These were 

1 Colony Records, iv. 240. 2 ib. iy_ 397^ ib_ i^. 46I. 



all, subsequently, located in the vicinity of Quinsigamond.-' The favorable 
impression from the surveys, excited enterprise to undertake that plantation, 
which long retained the original name, borrowed from the beautiful sheet of 
water spreading in the neighborhood of the settlement. 

John Haynes and Josiah Haynes, of Sudbury, and Nathaniel Treadaway, 
of Watertown, with Thomas Noyes, purchased the right of Increase Nowell, 
of his executors, and, on the 18th of May, 1664, having procured the accep- 
tance of a return, became proprietors of a wide tract, extending along the 
east side of Quinsigamond, including two of its southern islands, near ' the 
going out of Nipnapp River. '^ They petitioned the Great and General Court 
for the appointment of a Committee, to view the country. In compliance 
with their request, Capt Daniel Gookin, Capt. Edward Johnson, Lt. Joshua 
Fisher and Lt. Thomas Noyes, were commissioned, Oct. 11, 1665,^ to make 
survey, to determine if there be a ' meet place for a plantation, that it may 
be improved for that end, and not spoiled by granting of farms,' and directed 
to report the results of their examination to the next Court of Elections. 

The death of Thomas Noyes, which occurred soon after, and the difficulties 
arising from the disturbed state of the country, having prevented the execu- 
tion of this order, the attention of the colonial legislature was again directed 
to the contemplated settlement, in 1667. On the 15th of May* of that year, 
Capt. Daniel Gookin, Capt. Edward Johnson, Mr. Samuel Andrew, and An- 
drew Belchar, senior, were empowered, as a Committee,^ ' to take an exact 
view, as soon as conveniently they can, to make true report whether the place 
be capable to make a village, and what number of families, they conceive, may 
be there accommodated. And if they find it fit for a plantation, then to offer 
some meet expedient how the same may be settled and improved for the public 

Gookin, Johnson, and Belchar, discharged the duty assigned them, in the 
Autumn of the following year, and presented a report on the 20th Oct. 1668,' 
which exhibits an interesting outline of the views entertained in former times, 
and of the general principles adopted in the formation of towns. 

' The Committee's return about a new plantation near Quandsigamond 
Fonds. Boston, 20 Oct. 1668. 

We have, according to the Court's order, bearing date 16th May, 1667,'^ 

1 The orthography of Indian names is quite uncertain. The same word is not only 
written in different manner by contemporary authors, but assumes various shapes in the 
same instrument. The ancient name of Worcester appears in these, among other forms : 
Quansiggemuck, Quiusigamug, Quansicamoag, Quansitamud, Quonsiquomon, Quansigamon, 
Quansiquumog, Quanciggugug, Quonsogogoag. Quinsigamond, has been established by most 
general use, and is therefore adopted. The true reading was probably Quonsigamoag. 
- Nipmuck, now Blackstone Riyer. ^ Colony Ilec. iv. 662, * ib, iv. 587, 

^ Kotices of the committees of settlement, and of some of the early planters, will be 
found in the succeeding pages. 

^ Col. Kec. iv. 624. ' Col. Rec. iv. 687. 

1668.] committee's eeport. 11 

viewed the place therein mentioned, and find it to be about twelve miles west- 
ward from Marlboro', near the road to Springfield, and that it contains a tract 
of very good chesnut tree land ; a large quantity : but the meadow we fip.d 
not so much ; because a very considerable quantity of meadow and upland, 
about five thousand acres, is laid out unto particular persons, and confirmed 
by this Court, as we are informed, which falls within this tract of land ; viz ; 
to Ensign Noyes deceased and his brethren, three thousand two hundred 
acres: unto the church of Maiden, one thousand acres, unto others, five hun- 
dred acres, bought of Ensign Noyes ; but, all this notwithstanding, we con- 
ceive there may be enough meadow for a small plantation, or town, of about 
thirty families : and if those farms be annexed to it, it may supply about 
sixty families. Therefore, we conceive it expedient, that the honored Court 
will be pleased to reserve it for a town, being conveniently situated, and well 
watered with ponds and brooks, and lying near midway between Boston and 
Springfield, about one day's journey from either: and, for the settling thereof 
we do off"er unto the Court that which follows ; viz : 

That there be a meet proportion of land granted and laid out for a town, 
in the best form the place will bear, about the contents of eight miles square : 

That a prudent and able committee be appointed and empowered to lay it 
out : to admit inhabitants, and order the aff'airs of the place, in forming the 
town, granting lots, and directing and ordering all matters of a prudential 
nature, until the place be settled with a sufilcient number of inhabitants and 
persons of discretion, able to order the aff'airs thereof, in the judgment of the 
Court : 

That due care be taken by the said Committee, that a good Minister of 
God's word be placed there, as soon as may be : that such people as may be 
there planted may not live like lambs in a large place : 

That there be two or three hundred acres of land, with a proportion of 
meadow, in some convenient place, at the discretion of the Committee, re- 
served, and laid out for the Commonwealth ; and the Committee to have power 
and liberty to settle inhabitants thereupon, for lives or times, upon a small 
rent, to be paid after the first seven years.' Daniel Gookin. 

Edward Johnson. 
Andrew Belchar. 

This report was approved and accepted, its recommendations confirmed, 
and Capt. Daniel Gookin, Capt. Thomas Prentice, Mr. Daniel Henchman, 
and Lt. Richard Beers, appointed a Committee to carry them into execution. 

At the distance of more than a century and a half, when we see the hills 
and vallies of the ' very good chesnut tree land ' explored by the committee, 
thickly dotted with the homes of the husbandman and the villages of the 
manufacturer, traversed by canal and railway, and supporting a dense popula- 
tion, their estimate of the capacity of the tract, eight miles square, to main- 
tain thirty or sixty families, furnishes strong contrast between their humble 
anticipations and our overflowing prosperity. 


At the period when the examination took place, meadow lands were esteem- 
ed of high value, and were, indeed, essential for the support of the new settle- 
ments. The low grounds, cleared of woods by the industry of the beaver, 
erecting dams to flood their surfaces ; by the waste of fires kindled by the 
hunter ; or the action of streams ; afforded the only pasturage that could be 
obtained, until the forest had been hewn away, and the herbage rose upon the 
cultivated fields. 

Notwithstanding, the Great and General Court, by their order, May 15, 
1667, had prohibited the laying out of lands within the new plantation, a 
location had been subsequently made, in right of Ensign Noyes. His heirs 
had sold their lands to Ephraim Curtis, of Sudbury, afterward distinguished for 
his gallantry and good conduct in the war with the Indians. The Committee, 
embarrassed by the selections made by the claimants under the old grants, on 
the 27th of May, 1669,-^ presented the following petition for relief from the 
difficulties which had arisen, to retard the progress of settlement, 

' We, the Committee of the General Court, whose names are subscribed, 
being appointed and empowered to lay out, settle and manage a plantation, at 
or about Quansigamond pond, twelve miles beyond Marlborough, in the road 
way to Springfield and Hadley, which place is very commodious for the situa- 
tion of a town, the better to unite and strengthen the inland plantations, 
and, in all probability, will be advantageous for travellers, it falling near mid- 
way between Boston and Springfield, and about a day's journey from either ; 
we, having lately been upon the place, to make an exact discovery and survey 
thereof, accompanied with sundry honest and able persons that are willing 
forthwith to settle themselves there : but finding some obstructions in the 
work, which, unless this Court please to remove, and, we conceive, they may 
justly do it, the proceeding will be utterly hindered; and, therefore, we shall 
humbly ofi'er them unto the honored Court, desiring help therein : 

1. We find, that, though the place contains a tract of good land, yet, it is 
much straitened for meadow. We cannot find above three hundred acres of 
meadow belonging to it, within several miles : but, there are swamps and 
other moist lands, that, in time, with labor and industry, may make meadow. 

2. We find, that there is a grant of one thousand acres to the ministry of 
Maiden, May the 7th, 1662, which grant is laid out in this place. This farm 
contains a choice tract of land, and swallows up about one hundred acres of 
the aforesaid meadow ; but the condition of the grant, as the record will 
declare, is, that it be improved, within three years after the grant, for the 
ends wherefore it was granted ; but that being not done ; for it is now above 
six years since, and no improvement made ; we apprehend, the grant is void : 
but yet, if the Court please to renew it, in any other place, we speak not to 
oppose it : but if it be continued and confirmed in this place, it will utterly 
hinder the settling of a plantation here. 

1 Col. Rec. iv. 426. 


3. There is another grant of land, unto Ensign Noyes, deceased, laid out 
in this place, containing two hundred fifty acres of choice land, with a 
considerable quantity of meadow, lying in the heart of this place ; and by him 
was sold to one Ephraim Curtis, a young man living in Sudbury. We desire 
that the Court will please to make void this grant ; being not laid out regu- 
larly for quantity or quality, as we conceive, and it will very much prejudice 
this town. The person concerned may have his land in another place, border- 
ing upon this town, where there is sufficient to accommodate it, and. also may 
have a lot in this town, if he desire it. 

4. Whereas, the Court, in their grant of this town, hath reserved two or 
three hundred acres of land, with a proportion of meadow, to be laid out for 
the Commonwealth ; if it please the Court, because of the straitness for 
meadow, to abate that reservation, so far as concerns meadow, it will greatly 
encourage the work. 

If the honored Court please to remove these obstructions, we hope it will 
not be long before this place be settled in a good way, for the honor of God 
and the public good. 

The Committee, in their journey, having discovered two other places beyond 
this to the westward, that will make two or three towns, the one place called 
Pamaquesset, lying upon the head of Chequabee River, the other place called 
Swquakeag,^ upon Connecticut River, nearer to Boston than Hadley, we 
desire the Court will please to order that these places be reserved to make 
towns, the better to strengthen those inland parts, and the laying out of par- 
ticular grants prohibited in the said places.' 

Daniel Henchman, Daniel Gookin, 

Richard Beers, Thomas Prentice. 

The reservation to the public in the meadow was released, but the petition, 
in relation to the private grants, was refused. 

The progress of the Committee of settlement in the discharge of their duties 
was, necessarily, slow, and, for a long time, their efforts were defeated by 
calamitous circumstances. Their first meeting was held in Cambridge, July 
6th, 1669, when a plan was formed for the projected plantation. The foun- 
dation principles and rules they matured are entered on their original 
book of records, in the hand-writing of the venerable Gookin, and indi- 
cate the wisdom and forecast of their authors. It was proposed, that the 
territory, including the whole of Worcester and Holden, and a large part of 
Ward, should first be divided into ninety twenty five acre house lots, and, in the 
apportionment of these to the settlers, ' respect should be had to the quality, 
estate, usefulness, and other considerations of the person and family to whom 
they were granted :' that the most convenient place, nearest the middle of the 
town, should be set apart and improved for placing the meeting house, for the 
worship of God : a convenient lot of fifty acres for the first minister, should 

» Northfield. 


be laid out as near to it as miglit be : another lot, in the next convenient place, 
not far from thence, for the ministry that should succeed in all future times : 
that twenty acres, should be reserved, near the centre, for a training field, and 
to build a school house upon : that a lot, of twenty five acres, should be appro- 
priated for the maintenance of a school and school master, to remain for that 
use forever : and that two hundred and fifty acres, should be for the use of the 
country. Provision was made for the equal apportionment of common charges 
upon the proprietors of lots, for erecting mills, opening and repairing ways, 
and for the equitable division of the remaining lands.-' Subsequent events pre- 
vented the practical effects of these regulations from being felt in the affairs of 
the inhabitants, except in the example and aid they might have afforded to 
those who directed their prudential concerns in more prosperous days. 

The exertions of the committee to procure settlement, seem, for a long 
period, to have been unavailing. At length, brighter prospects opened before 
them. In the year 1673, a company of thirty persons w^re engaged to com- 
mence the plantation, and, in the following spring, thirty house lots were laid 
out, and they began to build and cultivate. Ephraim Curtis of Sudbury had, 
probably, previous to this time, taken possession of the rich tract of land near 
the centre of the present town of Worcester, and had erected a house on the 
' Connecticut road,' west of the head of Quisnigamond. So great was the 
obstruction encountered from his claims, that the Committee were compelled, 
again, to ask the aid of the legislature, in removing the vexatious incumbrance 
arising from his rights and pretentions. The following petition, subscribed 
by those who proposed to become inhabitants, was presented by them, on the 
27th of May, 1674.2 

' To the Hon'ble the Governor, Deputy Governor, Assistants and Deputies, 
assembled in the General Court of the Massachusetts Colony in New England, 
this 27th of May, 1674. 

The humble petition of Daniel Gookin senior, Thomas Prentice, Richard 
Beers, and Daniel Henchman, a committee, appointed and authorized by the 
General Court, to order and manage a new plantation granted by this Court, 
lying and being upon the road to Springfield, about twelve miles westward 
from Marlborough, together with divers other persons hereunto subscribed, 
Avho have lots granted and laid out there, humbly sheweth : 

That, whereas, your petitioners have been at a very considerable expense, 
both of time and estate, in order to settle a plantation there ; which, they con- 
ceive, when it is effected, will more conduce to the public good of the country 
than their partlcnlar advantage ; and have so far advanced in that work, as to 
lay out about thirty house lots, and engage the people to settle them speedily : 
also have begun to build, plant, and cut hay there ; but now, meeting with an 
obstruction and hlnderance, by a young man called Ephraim Curtis, of Sud- 
bury, who dees lay claim unto two tracts of land, containing about five 

1 Proprietors' Records, 3. 2 Colony Files, 1G74. 




hundred acres, lying in the centre of this plantation, especially one of the par- 
cels, being about 250 acres, in which place the committee have laid out a 
minister's lot, a place for a meeting house, a mill, and ten other particular 
men's house lots, so that if this place be taken from us, this town is not like 
to proceed, to the damage of the public and your petitioners : now, although 
we cannot grant that the said Curtis hath any legal right to debar our proceed- 
ing, yet, for peace sake, we have offered him a double share in the plantation, 
viz. two house lots, and accommodations to them, which will, in the end, 
amount to much more land than he pretends unto ; but all offers he declines : 

Our humble request unto the Court is, that you will be pleased to order, that 
the said Curtis may be sent for, and that both him, and your Committee, may 
be [^examined^ either before some Committee of the Court, thereunto to report 
the matter, or by the whole Court : for the substance of the case will, as we 
conceive, turn upon this hinge ; whether an order of the General Court, dated 
in May 1667, prohibiting the laying out any particular grants in this place, in 
order to reserve it for a village, shall be of force and efficacy to nullify the 
acceptance of a particular grant laid out in this place, as is pretended, a year 
after; namely, at a Court held Anno 1668 ; the untying of this knot, which 
none can do but the General Court, will resolve the matter of controversy one 
way or other ; so that this town will proceed or cease, and that your Com- 
mittee, and others concerned, may not be wrapt up in trouble and contention 
about this matter, whose scope and aim is, the public good, and that the good 
of many may be preferred before one, wherein we have no cause to doubt of 
this honored Court's favor and encouragement. 

And so your petitioners desire in all humility to pray &c., for you. 
Phinehas Upham, Daniel Whittamore, Jona. Treadaway, 

Palatiah Whittamore, 
John Richards, 
Joseph Richards, 
"William Reed, 
Samuel Lee, 
Thomas Pratt, 
Thomas Skinner, 
Henry Swillaway, 
John Starkey, 

Richard Dana, 
John Damond, 
Philip Atwood, 
Thomas Tewksbury, 
Symon Meylin, 
Lazarus Grover, 
Thomas Grover, 
Stephen Grover, 
Lyman Grover, 

Joseph Dana, 
Thomas Brown, 
William Hersy, 
Jno. Provender, 
Edward Wildes, 
Jno. Wilder, 
Theophilus Thornton, 
Thomas Thornton, 

Daniel Gookin, sen. 
D. Henchman, 

Thomas Prentice, 

Ric. Beers. 

In compliance with this petition, the parties were heard before the depu- 
ties and magistrates, their evidence and arguments considered, and the contro- 
versy determined, by the equitable decision expressed in the following order 
June 5, 1674. 

l& CTTUTIs's CLAIM. [1674. 

'In answer to the petition of Capt. Daniel Gookin, Capt. Prentice, Lieut. 
Richard Beers and Mr. Henchman, and as a full issue of the case between the 
said petitioners and Ephraim Curtis; The Deputies judge meet, that the 
said Curtis shall have fifty acres of the land that is already laid out to him, 
where he hath built, so it be in one place, with all manner of accommodation 
appertaining thereto as other inhabitants have. And also, that he shall have 
liberty to take up the 250 acres of land without the bounds of said place, 
provided it be near adjoining thereunto : and to be in lieu of the land form- 
erly granted to Mr. John Norton : and all this with reference to the consent 
of our honored Magistrates hereto. William Torrey, Cleric. 

'5.4. 1674.^ The Magistrates consent hereto, provided that the 250 
acres to be laid out, without the bounds of the place, be understood without 
the bounds of the town ; and that the fifty acres where he hath built, be laid 
out and ordered by the Committee for said plantation as other lots there are. 

John Pynchon, p. order.' 

'June 5, 1674. Consented to by the Deputies. "VVm. Torrey, Cleric.'^ 

The adverse claim of Curtis having been thus quieted, the grant of the 
future town secured, and the rules for conducting the settlement established, 
the next care of the Committee was to extinguish the title of the Indians, 
then numerous in the vicinity, that neighbors so dangerous and powerful 
might be propitiated. A deed of eight miles square, for the consideration of 
' twelve pounds in lawful money of New England, or the full value thereof 
in other specie to the content of the grantees, within three months after the 
date to be paid and satisfied,' was executed, with great formality, on the 13th 
of July, 1674, by Solomon, alias Woonaskochu, sagamore of Tataesit, and 
John, alias Hoorrawannonit, sagamore of Packachoag.^ The receipt of part 
of the purchase, viz. two coats and four yards of trucking cloth, valued at 

1 5th month, 4th day: June 15, 1674, new style. 

By Stat. 24. Geo. II. Colony Laws 679, for regulating the commencement of the year 
and correcting the calendar, the style was changed. It was enacted that from the last 
day of December, 1751, the year should be considered as beginning on the first day of Jan- 
uary, and that the day following the second of September, 1752, should be called the fif' 
teenth, omitting eleven intermediate nominal days. 

Previous to this act, the year was considered as commencing on the 25th of March, the 
Lady day, or Annunciation of the church. According to the ancient reckoning, March 
was the first, and February the last month. 

The correction of the calendar, made by Pope Gregory XIII, in 1582, was immediately 
adopted in catholic countries. Although not established in England until 1752, it was 
customary to indicate the change by double dates, between the first of January and the 
25th of March : thus. March 24, 1G74-5, would have been written ; the day being after 
the commencement of 75, new style, and before the end of 74, old style. 

To adjust the difference of style, eleven days are to be added to all dates previous to 
Sept. 2, 1752. 

^ Colony Files, 1674. 3 Middlesex Registry of Deeds, Lib. 8, Fol. 317. 

1674.] INDIAN DEED. 17 

twenty six shillings, as earnest, in hand, was acknowledged. The conveyance 
was in fee, to the Committee, and the rest of the people admitted, or to be 
admitted, to be inhabitants. The terms, included all and every part of thg 
natural or civil right of the native chiefs, in all and singular the broken up 
land and wood land, woods, trees, rivers, brooks, ponds, swamps, meadows, 
minerals, or things whatsoever, lying and being within the eight miles square. 
Covenants were inserted that the lands should be held without any let, moles- 
tation, or disturbance by the grantors or their kindred, or people, or any 
claiming under them ; and that full and ample deeds and writings should be 
made according to law on finishing the payment. From a marginal note, 
attested by the venerable Gookin, it appears, that the full consideration was 
discharged, Aug. 20th, 1676, one half being advanced by himself, and the 
other moiety furnished by an assessment of one shilling the acre on the house- 
lots of the proprietors. 

The acknowledgment of this deed was before Gookin himself, though one 
of the grantees ; a circumstance not remarkable in times of purity, when the 
interest of the man was not considered as affecting the uprightness of the 

The following persons attested the instrument as subscribing witnesses. 

Onnomog, sagamore of Occonomesset,^ now Marlborough. He is men- 
tioned, Dec. 1674,^ ' as lately deceased, about two months since, which is a 
great blow to that place. He was a pious and discreet man, and the very soul, 
as it were, of that town.' He was the last ruler of his tribe. 

Numphow, sagamore of Wamessit, now Tewksbury, said by Gookin,^ to be 
' of the blood of the chief sachems.' His son Samuel was teacher of the 
praying Indians ; ' A young man of good parts, and who can speak, read and 
write English and Indian competently. He is one of those that was bred up 
at school at the charge of the Corporation for the Indians.' 

Joseph Thatcher, of Chabanakonkomon,^ now Dudley, who was a teacher. 

Nosoonowit : a christian of Pakachoag. 

In 1675, the work of settlement was prosecuted with vigor. About the 
middle of April, surveys were made of the lands by David Fisk of Cam- 
bridge and John Flint of Concord.* The lines and boundaries of the lota 
were established by actual admeasurement, and grants Avere made, confirmed 
and registered. Fifty acres were laid out to Gookin and Prentice, and twenty 

1 This word is written by Gookin, 1 Mass. Hist. Col. i. 185, Okommakamesit : by Hutch- 
inson, quoting from Elliot, Hist. Mass. 1, 156, Ogguionikongquamesut : by Rev. ^Ir. Allen, 
Wor. Mag. ii. 141, Ockucangansett : and is said to have been corrupted to Agoganggo- 

2 1 Mass. Hist. Col. 1, 185. 
5 Written Chabanakongkamun, 1 Mass. Hist. Col. 1 189. On Carleton's map of Massa- 
chusetts, it is called Chargoggagoggmanchoggagogg. This collection of syllables is divi- 
ded into two words, on Reach's map of Dudley, 1831, and bestowed on Slater's Pond. 

* Prop. Records, 7 — 12. 


five to Henchman, of the Committee. A. lot granted to Phlnehas Upham/ 
July 8, 1673, was now described and located, ' and although it should con- 
tain more than fifty acres, yet the Committee have confirmed it to him for a 
fifty acre lot, more or less ; and this they did upon a rule of justice and 
equity, in consideration of the labor, travel, and activity of the said Upham, 
from time to time, in furthering, advancing, and encouraging the settlement of 
the plantation.' ^ In pursuance of the order of Court, fifty acres were assigned 
to Ephraim Curtis ' where he had begun to build a small house.' ^ A lot of 
forty acres was appointed for the use of the ' first learned, pious, and ortho- 
dox minister.'* 

At this time the grants to the following persons were surveyed, confirmed, 
and recorded. The figures express the number of acres in each lot. 

In the west squadron or division on the north side of Connecticut road : 
Thomas Hall, 25, of Woburn : Daniel Gookin, 50 ; Samuel Gookin, 25, of 
Cambridge: Simon Meyling, 25 ; Ephraim Curtis, 50, of Sudbury: Daniel 
Henchman, 25, of Boston : Dr. Leonard Hoar, 25, of Concord. 

In the west squadron or division on the south side the Country road : Phin- 
ehas Upham, 50, of Maiden : Philip Atwood, 50, of Concord : Trial New- 
bury, 25, of Woburn. 

In the middle squadron or division on the north side of the Country road : 
Thomas Brown, 50, of Sudbury: Richard Dana, 50; Jacob Dana, 25, of 
Watertown : Joel Jenkins, 100, of Maiden. 

In the middle division, on the south side of the Country road, east side 
mill brook : Thomas Prentice, 50, of Woburn : Benjamin Webb, 50, of 
Marlborough : First Minister, 40 : Benjamin Crane, 50, of Sudbury : Thom- 
as Hall, 25, of Woburn. 

In the eastern squadron, lying next to the Country road to Boston ; Joseph 
Waigh, or Wayt, 25, of Marlborough : John Provender, 25, of Maiden : 
Samuel Brigham, 25; John Fay, 50, of Marlborough : Gershom Eames, 25, 
of Framingbam : Thomas Grover, 25; John Paul, 50; John Shaw, 25, of 
Maiden : John Curtis, 44 ; Simon Meyling, 55, of Sudbury. 

Another squadron in the way to Lancaster : Michael Flagg, 25 ; Joshua 
Bigelow, 25 ; Joseph Beamis, 25 ; all of Watertown; 

Other lots granted and Indian purchase money paid but not laid out : Wm. 
Taylor, 25, of Maiden : Jonathan Treadawaj, 25, of Sudbury : Wm. Adams, 
25, of Concord or Sudbury. 

In 1675, 'the Country road to Connecticut' ^ as it was called, the highway 

1 Phinehas Upham afterwards distinguished himself in the War with Philip as Lieuten- 
ant of Infantry. He was mortally wounded in the attack on the Narraganset Fort, Dec. 
19, 1675, and died, soon after, in Boston. 

2 Prop. Rec. 8. 3 ib. 7. 4 ib. 10. 

* This was the new road from Marlborough, through what is now Northborough, Shrews- 
bury, and Worcester to Connecticut. The Nipmuck, or old road, passed through the east 
part of Northborough, over Rock hill, east of Great and Little Chauncey Ponds, into 


of communication between Boston and the western settlements, entered the 
town near the head of the Pond, and following along the course of the pres- 
ent Shrewsbury road to its intersection with that to Lancaster, passed west- 
ward of the route now traveled, and crossed the stream nearly a quarter of a 
mile above the bridge. It then traversed the plain and ascended the hill 
west of the modern Court House, near where a private lane now exists. It 
was merely a path cut through the woods, practicable for passengers on foot 
and with horses. 

On this road, south of the fording place, was erected, at a very early period, 
one of those edifices called block, or garrison houses, and denominated on the 
records, ' the old Indian Fort.' The structures for defence against the tribes 
prowling in the forest, so far as specimens have survived the waste of time, or 
descriptions been preserved by tradition, had great uniformity in construc- 
tion. They were built of timbers hewn on the sides in contact with each 
other, firmly interlocked at the ends, and fastened together with strong pins. 
They were generally square in form and two stories in height. The basement 
was furnished with a single thick door of plank. The walls were perforated 
with narrow loop holes for the use of musketry against an approaching foe. 
A ladder, easily drawn up if the lower floor was forced, ascended to the next 
room, which projected two or three feet over on each side, having slits for 
infantry and wider port holes for cannon. The gentle slope of the roof afforded 
an elevated position to overlook the surrounding country, and was sometimes 
crowned with a little turret for an observatory. These watch towers, imper- 
vious to ball or arrow, were of abundant strength to resist an enemy unpro" 
vided with artillery, and might defy any attack, except that by fire on the 
combustible materials. To these wooden castles, in the infancy of the country, 
the inhabitants repaired on the alarm of danger, and found ample protection 
within the rude fortresses, seldom reduced by the savage, of too fierce temper- 
ament to await the lingering progress of seige. 

The lands eastward of Main Street, in the centre of the town, had been 
flooded by the Beavers, who had established their hamlet and built a dam 

Westborough, and thence through Grafton. The first house built on the new road west of 
Marlborough, was that of Col. James Eager of Northborough. In 1674, there was no hu- 
man habitation on its route between Marlborough and Brookfield, except the wigwams 
on Pakachoag. AVor. Mag. ii. 152. 

In the agreement of the Committee with Capt. Henchman, in 1684, it is said ' the coun- 
try I'oad is to lead up where carts have gone towards the north west corner of the citadel, 
and so pass into the street, next on the westerly side, where the 7?iills are to stand, that 
carts as well as horse may pass therein.' 

The way to Lancaster went northward from the town, nearly on the route followed by 
the present old Boston road. 

In Wor. Mag. ii. 112, it is supposed that the village of Pakachoag was on the Connecti- 
cut road. The account of Gookin shows that it was about three miles distant, at this 
time. A highway was subsequently located, south of the ancient path, which passed near 
the foot of Pakachoag. 

20 Philip's wak. [1675. 

across the stream near the bridge on Front Street. It is probable, the tract 
around the head of the Blackstone Canal then spread like a fair prairie, free 
from trees and covered with the herbage of the meadows. 

There were tracts which had been occupied by the Indians as planting 
grounds ; and their simple husbandry, if it did not improve by tillage, admit" 
ted the rays of the sun through the thick foliage of the primeval woods, to 
warm the soil enriched by the decayed vegetation of ages. The ' Indian 
broken up lands ' are frequently mentioned in the proprietary records. The 
fires of the hunter, anticipating the work of the axe, had prepared fields for 
the plough. 

These are the only vestiges of improvement which can be traced as existing 
when the first settlers of Worcester commenced their labors. 

Most of those who had expressed intention to become planters and joined 
in the petition of the Committee in May, 1674, discouraged by difficulties or 
delay, had abandoned their purpose. Of tlie persons who obtained grants» 
many did not discharge the purchase money of one shilling the acre, and but 
few actually removed. It required stout hearts to penetrate the depth of the 
wilderness and maintain residence in the immediate vicinity of the savage. 

Ephraim Curtis, who had already built, Thomas Hall, Simon Meyling, 
Phinehas Upham, Thomas Grover, Philip At wood, Joseph Waight, John 
Provender, and perhaps some others, had arrived in the month of April, 1675. 
Six or seven houses were erected. Neither record nor tradition, aff"ords infor- 
mation of the position of the habitations. The neighborhood of the Fort, 
the convenient proximity of water and meadow, would, it may reasonably be 
conjectured, have induced to the selection of the northern part of the present 
central settlement. 

To the edition of Hubbard's Narrative published in 1677, is prefixed a map 
of New England, being, as the title expresses, ' the first map hereout,' framed 
to illustrate the events of the war with Philip. The places ' assaulted by the 
Indians during the late awful revolutions of Providence ' are indicated upon 
this rude specimen of the origin of the arts in our country. The town of 
Worcester is thus distinguished. In the work it is described, as ' a village 
called Quonsigamog, in the middle way between Marlborough and Quabaog, 
consisting of about six or seven houses.'^ 

The settlement was prosperously advancing, and the inhabitants, in the lan- 
guage of the record, * had built after the manner of a town,' when the war 
with Philip of Mount Hope broke out in Plymouth colony. The conspiracy 
to crush the white men by a general massacre, if, as has been asserted by the 
early annalists, such a combination existed, was disclosed before it had ripened 
to its sanguinary maturity, and the Indians were driven unprepared into the 
conflict ending in the extermination of their tribes. The influence of the 
great native warrior extended widely through the tributary nations. The con- 
ederation he planned to expel the invader, who grew stronger day by day, and 

1 Hubbard's Nar. 135. 


like the serpent, tbough crushed at one point was alive at another, with 
renovated power to injure, though defeated of its primary object, was the com- 
mencement of a series of hostilities that desolated the frontier settlements. 
Although remote for a time, the war soon approached the plantation of Quin- 
sigamond. The son of Matoonus had been executed in 1671, for the murder 
of an Englishman, and his head placed on a pole, where it long remained, as 
the terrific memorial of justice. The father, a grave and sober Indian, 
appointed by Gookin constable of Pakachoag, in his profession of Christianity 
had not forsaken the vindictive principle so deeply cherished by his people. 
July 10, 1675,^ he visited Mendon, and revenged the loss of his offspring by 
the death of five of its inhabitants.^ 

This was the signal for the commencement of a desperate contest. Com- 
mon danger produced that efficient union of the northern colonies cemented 
by the necessity of self preservation. The war was not of long continuance. 

Energetic and rapid excursions laid waste the resources of the hostile 
tribes ; the allies, enticed to their support, foreseeing their fate, grew cold 
towards ancient friendships : their supplies were destroyed : their wigwams 
consumed : and Philip and his forces, hunted from post to post, deserted their 
homes and took refuge among the Nipmuck villages, where they received 
shelter and reinforcement. Unable to maintain open fight, they continued an 
unsparing predatory warfare upon the exposed hamlets and garrisons. Alarm 
prevailed through New England. None knew when to expect the visitation 
of the foe, lurking unseen in the solitude of the forest, until the blow fell, as 
sudden as the lightning, and left its effects traced with fire and blood. The 
husbandman went forth to cultivate the field, armed as if for battle ; the mus- 
ket and the sword rested by the pillow, whose slumbers were often broken, 
as the war whoop rose on the watches of the night. The planters of Wor- 
cester, placed hard by the seat of the enemy, remote from friendly aid, with 
no dwelling of civilized man nearer than Marlborough on the east, Lancaster 
towards the north, and Quabaog, now Brookfield, westward, to afford assist- 
ance and support, were compelled to desert their possessions, and dispersed 
among the larger towns. The silence of desolation succeeded to the cheerful 
sounds of industry, and the village was abandoned to the wild beast and the 
fiercer foe. 

1 Hubbard's Nar. 31. 

2 This event is thus noticed by Mather. 'July 14, the Nipnep, or Kipmuck Indians, 
began their mischief at a town called Mendam (bad we amended our ways as we should 
have done, this misery might have been prevented) , where they committed barbarous mur- 
ders. This day deserves to have a Remark set upon it, considering that blood was never 
shed in Massachusetts colony in a war of hostility before this day. Moreover, the Provi- 
dence of God herein is the more awful and tremendous, in that this very day the church 
in Dorchester was before the Lord humbling themselves by fasting and prayer on account 
of the day of trouble now begun among us. 

The news of this bloodshed came to us at Boston, the next day, in Lecture time, in the 
midst of the sermon : the Scripture then improved being that, Isai. 42: 24. Who gave 
Jacob to the spoil, and Israel to the robbers ? Did not the Lord ? He against whom we 
have sinned.' Mather's Hist, 6. 

22 NIPMUCK INDIANS. >• [1675. 


King Philip's war, 1675, 1676; The Nipmuck country. Indian Settlements. Visit of 
Gookin and Eliot. Attack on Quabaog. Ephraim Curtis. Phinehas Upham. Hench- 
man's expedition. Quinsigamond burnt. Henchman's second expedition. Sagamore 
John surrenders. Matoonus shot. Executions in Boston. Destruction of the Indians. 

The natives of Quinsigamond were of the Nipmuck or Nipnet Indians. 
The territorial jurisdiction of this tribe is not accurately defined by the early 
historians. Gookin, high authority on such subjects, includes within ' the 
Nipmuck country,' as it was called, ten villages of Christian converts : Has- 
sananiisset in Grafton ; Manchoag, now Oxford ; Chabanakongkamon, now 
Dudley ; Maanesit, Quantisset and Wabquisset in Woodstock ; Packachaog 
in Worcester and Ward ; Waentug, now Uxbridge ; Wesbakim, now Sterling; 
and Quabaog in Brookfield.-' From the position of these places, the domain 
of the nation must have extended over all the south, and part of the north, 
of the County of Worcester, and included a portion of Connecticut. On the 
south were the fierce Pequots ; the Massachusetts, inhabiting from the bay of 
that name to the interior, were on the east ; North, were the Pawtuckets, 
dwelling along the Merrimack and its tributary waters. The western bound- 
ary is uncertain. It is possible that it was as remote as the Connecticut River 
and the possessions of the warlike Maquas or Mohawks. Eliot, in 1651, 
speaks of Nipmuck, as ' a great country lying between Connectacot and the 
Massachusetts, called Nipnet, where there be many Indians dispersed.'^ 
The Nipmucks enjoyed a wide region, abounding with lakes and rivers for 
fishing, forests for the hunter, and soil favorable for their rude tillage. Their 
character was more gentle and peaceful than generally belongs to savage life. 
Surrounded by powerful and ferocious tribes, they had lost national independ- 
ence. The chiefs and sagamores of the scattered hamlets were subordinate 
and tributary to their strong neighbors. When the planters first arrived, 
Wattasacompanum was nominally ruler. But his authority was controlled, 
and his efforts to preserve the friendly relations which had always subsisted 
between his people and the English, were rendered ineffectual, by the superior 
influence and bolder spirit of the Sachems, who held their subjects by para- 
mount allegiance to their wild governments, and they were drawn, reluctantly 
and unwillingly, into hostilities. 

The principal settlement of the Indians in Worcester, was on the hill rising 
in the south part of the town, and extending into Ward, called by them Pak- 
achoag, now known as Bogachoag. It is thus described by Gookin, in his 
' Historical Collections of the Indians in New England,' ^ written in Dec. 
1674. ' This village lyeth about three miles south from the new road way 
that leadeth from Boston to Connecticut ; about eighteen miles, west-south- 
erly, from Marlborough ; and from Boston about forty four miles. It consists 

1 1 Mass. Hist. Col. i. 189. 2 3 Mass. Hist. Col. iv. 170. » 1 Mass. Hist. Col. i. 192. 

1674.] gookin's and eliot's visit. 23 

of about twenty families, and hath about one hundred souls therein. This 
town is seated upon a fertile hill, and is denominated from a delicate spring 
of water that is there.' 

The western hills, bearing originally the appellation of Tataesset, corrupted, 
in common use, into Tatnuck, were occupied by similar hamlets. 

Wigwam Hill, on the western shore of Quinsigamond, was probably a 
favorite place of residence for the people who ranged along its waters for fish 
and game. The name given by the planters indicates that it was once the 
site of the bark tents of the aborigines. 

The remains of rude workmanship frequently discovered around these emi- 
nences, and the vestiges of primitive agriculture formerly scattered over our 
territory, show that the tribe once roving through our forests was numerous. 

The benevolent exertions of self-devoted teachers in diffusing the light of 
Christianity, had been extended to these villages, and as early as 1672, they 
had been here instructed in the doctrines of religion and the ceremonial of the 

On the 17th of September, 1674, John Eliot, well styled the apostle of 
the Indians, visited Pakachoag. accompanied by Gookin, who then held the 
office of Superintendent, on his return from an excursion among the nations 
entrusted to his paternal guardianship. The description, left by the latter, 
affords a view of the condition of the population previous to the commence- 
ment of that war whose exterminating edge soon fell on their kindred. 

' We took leave of the christian Indians at Chabanakongkomun, and took 
our journey, 17th of the seventh month,^ by Manchage to Pakachoog, which 
lieth from Manchage, north-west, about twelve miles. We arrived there 
about noon.' 

' We repaired to the sagamore's house, called John, alias Horowanninit, 
who kindly entertained us. There is another sagamore belonging to this 
place, of kindred to the former, whose name is Solomon, alias Wooanakochu. 
This man was also present, who courteously welcomed us. As soon as the 
people could be got together, Mr. Eliot preached unto them, and they attend- 
ed reverently. Their teacher, named James Speen, being present, read and 
set the tune of a psalm that was sung affectionately. Then was the whole 
duty concluded with prayer.' 

' After some short respite, a Court was kept among them. My chief assis- 
tant was Wattasacompanum, ruler of the Nipmuck Indians, a grave and pious 
man of the chief sachem's blood of the Nipmuck country. He resides at 
Hassanamisset : but, by former appointment calleth here, together with some 
others. The principal matter done at this Court, was, first, to constitute John 
and Solomon to be rulers of this people and co-ordinate in power, clothed 
with the authority of the "English government, which they accepted : also to 
allow and approve James Speen for their minister. This man is of good 
parts ; and pious. He hath preached to this people almost two years, but he 
yet resides at Hassanamisset, about seven miles distant. Also they chose, and 

1 23 September, 1674, N, S. 


the Court confirmed, a new constable, a grave and sober Indian, called Matoo- 
nus. Then I gave both the rulers, teacher, constable and people, their respec- 
tive charges, to be diligent and faithful for God, zealous against sin, and care- 
ful in sanctifying the Sabbath.' 

Having sent a grave and pious Indian to be a teacher at Nashaway, near 
Lancaster, with a letter of advice and exhortation, written and dated at Pak- 
achoag, and nominated one of that tribe, who was present, as constable, with 
power, ' to apprehend drunkards, take away their strong drink, and bring the 
offenders before himself for punishment ; ' an office which the candidate re- 
fused to accept until he could consult his friends ; the exercises were conclu- 
ded with singing a psalm and ofi'ering prayer, and they retired to rest. The 
next morning early they passed to Marlborough, and thence returned to their 
homes. -^ 

While the flame of war spread through the whole jurisdiction of Massachu- 
setts, Quinsigamond was distinguished as the central point in a territory de- 
populated by hostilities, and as a post for military movements. Some of the 
christian Indians, during this gloomy period, repaired to Marlborough : but 
most of them, enticed by the persuasions and awed by the lofty spirit of 
Philip, united themselves with him. As early as July, 1675, this bold and 
sagacious warrior was at Pakachoag, and was accompanied westward by saga- 
more John, who participated in the attack on Quabaog. When this John 
surrendered himself at Boston, the year after, ' he affirmed ' says Hubbard, 
'that he had never intended any mischief to the English at Brookfield, but 
that Philip, coming over night among them, he was forced, for fear of his 
own life, to join with them against the English.' ^ Many of our Indians went 
with him. 

While the natives of Pakachoag were attempting the destruction of Brook- 
field, Ephraim Curtis, who may be considered as the first settler of Worcester, 
distinguished himself as a gallant soldier in repelling their attacks. Having 
actively engaged in military service, he received the commission of Lieutenant. 
The government, desirous of reclaiming the Nipmucks to their fidelity, 
repeatedly sent messengers to their chiefs. On the 24th of July, 1675, Cur- 
tis held a conference with four of their sachems, and received assurances of 
their peaceful intentions.^ Induced by deceptive promises, Capt. Edward 
Hutchinson, and Capt. Thomas Wheeler, Avere sent into the interior ; the 
former, commissioned to negociate a treaty, and the latter, in command of a 
military force of 20 men, for the protection of the embassy. Commencing 
their march from Cambridge, July 28, and passing the forsaken wigwams of 
the savages, who fled before them to concentrate power for a heavy blow, they 
arrived near Brookfield, August 2. Having been amused by delusive appoint- 
ments for meetings, they were led into a narrow defile, between a steep hill 

1 1 Mass. Hist. Col. i. 192. 
2 Hubbard's Narrative, 101. ' One eyed John accuses sagamore John to have fired the 
first gun at Quabaog, and killed Capt. Hutchinson.' Sewall's Journal. 

3 Hub. Nar. 35. 

1675.] CTTETIS. UPHAM. 25 

and deep swamp. Two or three hundred Indians rose suddenly from their 
ambuscade, and, with the first fire, killed eight and wounded five men, includ- 
ing both the commanders. The survivors of the ill-fated company, with diffi- 
culty, effected a retreat to the town, where they fortified one of the largest 

' Within two hours after our coming to the said house, or less,' says Whee- 
ler, in his narrative,^ ' the said Capt. Hutchinson and myself posted away 
Ephraim Curtis of Sudbury, and Henry Young of Concord, to go to the hon- 
ored council, at Boston, to give them an account of the Lord's dealing with 
us, and our present condition. When they came to the further end of the 
town, they saw the enemy rifling of houses, which the inhabitants had for- 
saken. The post fired upon them, and immediately returned to us again ; 
they discerning no safety in going forward, and being desirous to inform us of 
the enemies actings, that we might the more prepare for a sudden assault by 

This assault followed with great violence, but was bravely resisted. During 
the night, the attack continued, and the Indians attempted to fire the house, 
with combustibles. * I,' says Wheeler, ' beirig desirous to hasten intelligence 
to the honored Council of our present great distress, we being so remote from 
any succor, it being between 60 and 70 miles from us to Boston, where the 
Council useth to sit, and fearing our ammunition would not last long to with- 
stand them, if they continued so to assault us, I spake to Ephraim Curtis, to 
adventure forth again on that service, and to attempt it on foot, as the way 
wherein there was most hope of getting away undiscovered : he readily assent- 
ed, and, accordingly, went out ; but there were so many Indians everywhere 
thereabouts, that he could not pass, without apparent hazard of life ; so he 
came back again ; but, towards morning, the said Ephraim adventured forth 
the third time, and was fain to creep on his hands and knees for some space 
of ground, that he might not be discerned by the enemy, who waited to pre- 
vent our sending, if they could have hindered it. But, through God's mercy, 
he escaped their hands, and got safely to Marlborough, though very much 
spent, and ready to faint, by reason of want of sleep before he went from us, 
and his sore travel, night and day, in that hot season, till he got thither, from 
whence he went to Boston.' 

Intelligence had reached Marlborough before the arrival of Ephraim Curtis, 
and Major Simon Willard, whose memory has been unhappily slandered by 
tradition, had marched for the relief of the little band surrounded by more 
than three hundred Indians. 

On the 1st of September 1675, another of the early settlers of Worcester, 
Lt. Phinehas Upham, advanced, with a force of 100 men under the command 

^ See the very interesting tract, reprinted in the New Hampshire Historical Society's 
Collections, ii. 5, written by Captain Thomas Wheeler, entitled ' A True narrative of the 
Lord's providences in various dispensations towards Capt. Edward Hutchinson and myself, 
and those who went with us, into the Nipmug country, and also to Quabaog, alias Brook 


26 henchman's expedition. [1675. 

of Capt. Gorham, into the Nipmuck country. The object of the expedition 
was to destroy the planting fields and burn the wigwams of the Indians, to 
deprive them of shelter and food during the winter. Gookin complains that 
they attacked only the villages of the praying converts, while Pakachoag, 
where there was abundance of corn, was left untouched. •■• 

In November following, the enemy's forces captured the people of Hassan- 
amisset, while employed about their harvest. Wattasacompanum, the chief 
ruler and assistant, who had held court with Gookin in 1674, was prevailed 
with to unite with Philip, and his example drew after him most of his sub- 
jects. When information of this movement reached the Council, Capt. Hench- 
man and Capt. Sill were immediately dispatched to range the country with two 
companies. Having visited Grafton, and rescued some captives, ' they 
marched,' says Gookin in his Narrative of the sufferings of the christian 
Indians,^ ' to a place called Packachoage, about ten miles distant from Hassan- 
amisset, towards the north-west, where was plenty of good Indian corn, and 
in this place they hoped to meet some of the enemy. Coming to the place, 
they saw signs of Indians, that had been lately there, but it seems, were 
withdrawn upon the approach of the English. Here our forces took up their 
quarters one night, there being two wigwams, which were good shelter for our 
soldiers, the weather being wet and stormy. The next morning, our forces 
searched about the cornfields, to find the enemy, but could not discover them, 
though, in all probability the enemy saw them in all their motions, and con- 
cealed themselves ; for this is their ordinary way ; to lie hid in thick swamps 
and other secret places, and to move as our men do scatter themselves, in small 
parties, and lie close, observing all our men's motions. The English, in their 
search, found above 100 bushels of Indian corn newly gathered, and a great 
quantity of corn standing. About 10 o'clock in the forenoon, the English 
Captains and their soldiers marched back to Hassanamisset. Being gone 
about two miles on their way, Capt. Henchman, missing, as he apprehended, 
his letter case, wherein his writings and orders > ere, he sent l^ack two En- 
glishmen, and the Indian Thomas, on horseback, to see at the wigwam where 
he lodged, to find his papers : these messengers, accordingly, going back, 
the Indian led them the way, and ascending up a steep hill, at the top whereof 
stood the wigwam, as soon as ever he discovered it, being not above six rods 
distant, he saw two Indian enemies, standing a*t the wigwam door, newly come 
out, and four more, sitting at the fire, in the house. At which sight he be- 
stirred himself, and, looking back, called earnestly (as if many men were be- 
hind, coming up the hill,) to hasten away and encompass the enemy. One 
of the enemy, thereupon, presented his gun at our Indian ; but, the gun mis- 
sing fire, (probably the moist rainy weather had put it out of case,) where- 
upon, the rest of them, that were in the wigwam, came all out, and ran away 
as fast as they could, suspecting that the English forces were at hand. And 
then Thomas, with his two comrades, having thus prudently scared away the 

1 Gookin's Hist. Christian Indians, in American Antiquarian Society's Collections. 
2 American Antiquarian Society's Collections. 


enemy, they thought it seasonable also to ride back again to their company as 
fast as they could. And, indeed, there was good reason for it ; because Thom- 
as, the Indian, had only a pistol : one of the Englishmen, who was their 
chirurgeon, a young man, had no gun : the third had a gun, but the flint was 
lost : so that they were in ill case to defend themselves, or off'end the enemy : 
but God preserved them, by the prudence and courage of the Indian : which 
deliverance, one of the Englishmen directly acknowledged to me, attributing 
their preservation, under God, to this fellow : so they got safe to their caj.tain, 
who, in the interim, searching diligently, had found his letter case, and staid 
for these messengers.'^ 

The buildings, deserted by the planters of Worcester, were destroyed by 
the Indians, Dec. 2, 1675 : an event in which Mather discovers a special ad- 
monition of the displeasure of divine Providence. The expedition against 
the Narragansets was then about to march. ' But before they set out,' says 
the annalist, ' the churches were all upon their knees before the Lord, the 
God of armies, entreating his favor and gracious success in that undertaking. 
This day of Prayer and Humiliation was observed December 2d : when, also, 
something happened, intimating as if the Lord were still angry with our pray- 
ers : for, this day, all the houses in Quonsukamuck were burnt by the Indians.'^ 

During the winter, the hostile Indians were scattered through the country 
between Marlborough and Brookfield. A large body gathered round Wachu- 
set. Philip having visited Canada, they remained for the most part inactive. 
On his return, the tomahawk was again lifted, and torture and death resumed 
their work. On the first of February, 1675,^ the Nipmucks destroyed the 
house of Thomas Eames in Framingham. Three of the men of Pakachoag 
were afterwards executed in Boston for this burning. A curious inventory of 
the loss sustained by the suff'erer was afterwards presented to the General 
Court, in which a wife and five children are included among the articles of 
furniture and items of property for reimbursement. 

The Nipmucks were engaged in the attack on Lancaster, Feb'y. 10, 1675,* 
rendered memorable by the simple narrative of Mrs. Rowlandson's captivity ; 
and, probably, participated in the depredations on other towns. The troops 
of Prentice, Savage, Mosely, and the other distinguished leaders of the time, 
frequently traversed the territory along the Connecticut road, to seek or pur- 
sue the foe. Parties were sometimes stationed at Quinsigamond, to await 
reenforcements or watch the operations of the enemy. 

In April, 1676, three companies of infantry, under Captains Sill, Cutler and 
Holbrook, and three of cavalry, with Capts. Brattle and Prentice, and Capt. 
Henchman, who was commander-in-chief, were sent out towards Hassanamis- 
set. Having been released for a time from service, on the 30th of Miy 
Henchman was again despatched from Boston, to meet a corps from Connec- 
ticut, to scour the forest on both sides Connecticut River, to distress the ene- 
my and prevent their fishing in those waters. The two parties were to unite 

1 See Hubbard's Nar. 45. ^ Increase Mather's History, 19. 

» Feb. 12, 1676, New Style. * Feb. 22, 1676, N. S. 

28 henchman's expedition. [1676. 

at Brookfield, but Henchman turned aside to attack a party at Weshakim 

ponds. This service successfully performed, he proceeded westward and met 
the troops of the neighboring colony at Hadley. The object of the campaign 
accomplished, the men of Massachusetts returned. The instructions of the 
Council, dated June 10, state that Philip, with several sachems, but with few 
fighting men, had then planted at Quabaog and Pakachoag. On arriving 
near the last-named place, they found that Philip and the Narragansets were 
gone several days before. On the 30th of June, Henchman, having halted at 
Marlborough, made a report, from which the following passages are extracted, 

* By advice, I drew out a commanded party, under the conduct of Capt. 
Sill, viz. sixteen files of English, all my troop, and the Indians, excepting one 
file, being all we could make provision for ; for what with the falling short of 
the bread promised us, and a great deal of that we had proving mouldy, the 
rest of the men had but one biscuit a man to bring them to this place. This 
party we ordered towards Wachuset, and so to Nashaway, and the Weshakim 
Ponds, and so to return to this place. The commanded party we left at 
Quonsiquomon, where they intended to stay awhile for the last scout we sent 
out. Eleven prisoners we had in all ; two of the eldest, by counsel, we put 
to death, the other nine the commissary is ordered to convey to Boston."^ 

From this time the fortunes of Philip rapidly declined. The spirit of dis- 
afi'ection spread among his allies, and the formidable confederacy his genius 
had formed was parted. The confidence he had inspired was lost, and the 
dread of the English power revived as unsparing vengeance was visited on 
the hostile tribes. 

Sagamore John, alarmed at the dangerous condition of aff"airs, prudently 
sought safety by timely submission. In the early part of July, he opened a 
negociation for peace with the government in Boston. 

A curious letter, composed by a christian Indian who had learned to write, 
supplicating mercy in very imperfect language, is preserved in one of a series 
of tracts, first printed in London in 1676.^ John subscribed this paper, as a 
highland chieftain would have done, with the name of his clan. It was 
signed by other Nipmuck sagamores, and sent by a party with a white flag, 
July 6, 1676, from Nashaway. 

' Mr. John Leveret, my Lord, Mr. Waban, and all the chief men our breth- 
ren, praying to God.^ We beseech you all to help us ; my wife she is but 
one, but there be more prisoners, which we pray you keep well : Mattamuck 
his wife, we entreat you for her ; and not only that man, but it is the request 
of two Sachems, Sam Sachem of Weshakim and the Pakashoag Sachem.' 

' And that further you will consider about the making peace. We have 

1 Hubbard Nar. 86. 

2 ' A true account of the most considerable occurrences that have happened in the warre 
between the English and Indians in New England,' reprinted in Drake's Indian Chronicle, 

8 The letter is intended to be addressed to Gov. Leveret, Mr. Waban, and the christian 
ladiaas who prayed to God. 

1676.] JOHN, MATOONUS. 29 

spoken to the people of Nashobah (viz. Tom D abler and Peter^ that we would 
agree with you and make a covenant of peace with you. We have been des- 
troyed by your soldiers : but still we remember it now, to sit still ; do you 
consider it again : we do earnestly entreat you that it may be so, by Jesus 
Christ. ! let it be so ! Amen. Amen.' 

Mattamuck, his mark N. 

Sam. Sachem, his mark 0^. 

Simon Pottoquam, Scribe % 

Uppanippaquem, his (mark) C. 

Pakaskoag, his mark ^.^ 

Soon after this letter was written, about July 13,^ sagamore John ventured 
to visit Boston, to deliver himself to the Magistrates and make terms for his 
men. The Governor and Council, with policy equally wise and humane, had 
issued proclamations offering pardon to the Indians who voluntarily came in 
and surrendered. John expressed sincere sorrow for taking part against the 
English, engaged to be true to their interests in future, promised to give some 
testimonials of fidelity, received assurances of security and protection, and 
was permitted to depart. On the 27th of July, he returned, bringing with 
him an hundred and eighty of his followers. To propitiate favor, and pur- 
chase peace by an acceptable offering, he had treacherously seized that Mat- 
oonus, who had shed the first blood in Massachusetts on the beginning of the 
war at Mendon, with Nehemiah his son, both probably natives of Pakachoag, 
and brought them down bound with cords, to be given up to justice. Mat- 
oonus, having been examined, was condemned to immediate death. Sagamore 
John, with the new-born zeal of the traitor, to signalize his devotion to the 
cause he adopts by extraordinary rancor against that he deserts, entreated for 
himself and his men the office of executioners. Matoonus was led out, and 
being tied to a tree on Boston common, was shot by his own countrymen, his 
head cut off, and placed upon a pole opposite to that of his son, who former- 
ly suffered on the same spot for a real or supposed murder committed in 1671. 

The historians of the period heap upon Matoonus a load of abusive and 
uncharitable epithets. The great injury he received, the deepest the heart of 
savage or civilized man can suS'er, affords, in their view, no apology for acts of 
violence, which although cruel, were according to the custom of war among 
his people. ' Sagamore John,' says Hubbard, ' that he might more ingratiate 
himself with the English, whose friendship he was now willing to seek after, 
did by a wile, get into his hands one Matoonus, an old malicious villain, 
who was the first that did any mischief within the Massachusetts Colony, 
July 14, 1675, bearing an old grudge against them as is thought, for justice 

1 The name of the residence of sagamore John was spelt by different early writers thus : 
Pakachoge : Packachooge : Pakchoog : Pakachage : I'akachauge : Poppachaug : Poquebaug : 
Pakachewog : Pakashooge : Packashoag : Pakaskoag : Pacachoog. The best authority 
is for Pakachoag. 

2 Drake's Indian Chronicle, 137. I. Mather's Hist. 43. Hub. Nar. 101. 


that was done upon one of his sons, 1671, whose head since stands upon a 
pole near the gibbet where he was hanged up : the bringing in of this malic- 
ious caitife was a hopeful presage that it would not be long before Philip him- 
self, the grand villain, would in like manner receive a just reward of his 
wickedness and murders.' 

Increase Mather, another minister of that gospel which inculcates the for- 
giveness of injuries, adds his testimony with equal bitterness, in a sermon 
preached in 1677.^ 

' How often have we prayed that the Lord would remember the cruelty, 
treachery, and above all the blasphemy of these heathen ! The prayer hath 

been heard in Heaven Matoonus, who was the first Indian that 

treacherously shed innocent English blood in Massachusetts colony, he some 
years before pretended something of religion, being a professor in general, 
(though never baptized, nor of the inchurched Indians,) that so he might the 
more covertly manage the hellish design of revenge, that was harbored in his 
devilish heart : but at last sagamore John, with some of his Indians, unexpect- 
edly surprised him and delivered him to justice,'^ 

Sagamore John, with nineteen of those who surrendered with him, were 
placed under the charge of Capt. Thomas Prentice, in Cambridge. During 
the succeeding winter, they escaped to the woods, and although closely fol- 
lowed, eluded pursuit. Three of the company were executed, with some of 
their associates, for burning the house of Thomas Eames. Of their fate Sew- 
all makes this brief record in his journal : ' Sept. 13, eight Indians shot to 
death on the (Boston) common.' Thirty were sold as slaves, under the milder 
name of putting out to service. The residue of the captives were confined to 
Deer Island, where many died by famine and exposure without suitable food 
or shelter from cold. 

The assistant Wattasacompanum, better known in the annals of the time 
by the appellation of Capt. Tom,* was made prisoner, June 11, 1676, with 
his daughter and two young children. Henchman, announcing the capture, 
reports that this man was said to have left the enemy early in the spring, 
intending to give himself up to the English, but dared not come in for fear of 
their scouts. The minutes of his trial allege, that ' Capt. Tom was not only 
an instigator to others over whom he was made a captain, but also was actu- 
ally present and an actor in the devastation of some of our plantations.' 
Although the company of friendly Indians, who had done good service to the 
colony, petitioned for his release, he was executed June 22. ' He was,' says 
Gookin,* ' a prudent, and, I believe, a pious man, and had given good dem- 
onstration of it many years. I had particular acquaintance with him, and 
cannot, in charity, think otherwise concerning him in his life, or at his death : 

1 Historical discourse on the prevalence of prayer, 6. 
2 Mather states that one of the sons of Matoonus was brought in with him, which is 
confirmed by the following entry in Sewall's MS. Journal, ' July 27, 1676. Sagamore John 
brings in Matoonus and his son : shot to death the same day.' 

''Shattuck's Concord, 62. * Hist. Christian Indians, in Am. Ant. Soc. Col. 


though possibly he was tempted beyond his strength ; for had he done as he 
ought, he should have rather suffered death than have gone among the wicked 
enemies of God's people.' 

During the summer, military executions were frequent in Boston. Thirty 
Indians were shot in one day on the common. The return of troops from vic- 
torious expeditions into the interior, was often followed by judicial slaughter, 
only to be defended on the ground of necessity. The captives were sometimes 
treated as traitors, and blood profusely shed. The heads of the sufferers, 
exposed near the spot where they fell, were ghastly memorials of the stern 
character of vindictive justice. 

An order of Council, August 30, 1675, directed that all Indians desirous of 
proving their fidelity should repair to Natick, Punkapaug/ Wamesit,^ Nash- 
obah,^ and Hassanamisset, to be confined within a circle drawn at the distance 
of a mile from the centre of the dwellings. The christians of Quinsigamond 
about this period went to Grafton, where they were afterwards surprised by a 
large force and compelled to join the enemy, as is stated, although it is not 
probable strong compulsion was needed to induce them to take part with their 
countrymen. Some were at a fort occupied by the converts of Marlborough. 
Measures of severity were adopted, involving innocent and guilty in common 
suffering, scarcely admitting defence. The friendly Indians were principally 
transported to Deer Island. Taken away from their cornfields without being 
permitted to gather the harvest, without the resources of hunting, with slender 
provision for their support, many died for want of food and shelter from the 
inclemency of winter. The change of residence was sometimes effected with- 
out regard to the feelings or convenience of the victims. Those of Marl- 
borough, surrounded by a company under Capt. Mosely, who had been 
commander of a privateer by sea before he became captain of soldiers, were 
taken into custody, their hands tied behind them, and fastened to a cart rope, 
they were driven away.* The act was disclaimed as unauthorised, but the officer 
was not punished nor the captives released. 

With the death of Philip, the animating spirit of the hostile confederacy, 
Aug. 12, 1676, the war ended. Its progress arrested the earliest efforts for 
settlement, and destroyed the little village beginning to rise in Quinsigamond : 
its termination left the soil almost without a relic of the aboriginal population. 
When the white settlers commenced building here, there were between two 
.and three hundred of the natives. They possessed extensive planting fields, 
and had set appletrees obtained from the English. The light of Christianity 
had dawned upon them, and some advance had been made in civilization. By 
the sword, by famine, by violent removal, and by flight, they were nearly 
exterminated. When the second plantation was attempted, only superannu- 
ated old men, women and children, remained of the red people : those able to 
bear arms had been slain, or dispersed, seeking refuge in Canada among the 
French, or migrating far westward beyond the reach of the power they had too 

1 Stoughton. 2 Lowell. ^ Easterly part of Littleton. 

* Allen's Northborough, in Wor. Mag. ii. 147. Biglow'fl Natick, 36, 


much provoked for their own safety. The whole nation perished, leaving no 
monuments of their existence on our lands, and no remains except little arti- 
cles of ornament, rude utensils of culinary art, and rough weapons of stone, 
discovered in their former dominion. 


1677 to 1713. Second settlement. Indian deed, 1677. Meeting of planters, 1678. 
Henclinidn's agreement, 1681. Citadel. Survey. Mills built. Name of Worcester. 
Lots laid out. New Committees. Capt. Fitch's letter. Queen Anne's war. Town 
abandoned. Digory Serjent killed. Elisha Ward. Indian hostilities. Petition for re- 
settlement refused, 1709. 

Peace having been reestablished, the Committee earnestly endeavored to 
procure the settlement of the town. The little remnant of the Indians, who 
survived the perils and sufferings of war, had returned to their homes. On 
the 6th of Dec. 1677,-^ the right of Pannasunet, asagamore who had not sub- 
scribed the former instrument of conveyance, was purchased of his heirs and 
relatives. The deed^ was executed by Anthony, or Wannashawakum, other- 
Avise, Wannoshanohannawit, and Abagail, his wife, ' daughter and only heir 
of Pannasunet :' Nannaswane, the widow ; Sasomet, and his wife Quassawake, 
sister of the deceased proprietor ; who are described as ' all natives and inhab- 
itants, they and their ancestors, of Quinsigamond,' and who covenanted that 
they had good and just title, and natural right and interest in the territory, 
and that they would warrant its enjoyment. The same good faith and equity 
governed in this as in the former contract. The receipt of full satisfaction for 
this release of dower and inheritance, in trucking cloth and corn, is acknowl- 

Although the storm of war had passed over, the recollection of its destruc- 
tive visitation was still fresh. No serious fears could be entertained of imme- 
diate disturbance of the repose of the Colony, by the dispersed and defeated 
enemy. In the interval of peace, the Committee, in 1678, directed the 
Planters to return before the year 1680, and build together so as to defend 
themselves : but, in their own words, ' there was no going by any of them, or 

' Middlesex Registry of Deeds. Lib. 8, Page 318. 

- The subscribing witnesses to this deed were the apostolic John Eliot, Nathaniel Gookin 
of Cambridge, son of Daniel Gookin, James Speen, Waban and Simon Betoghan. 

James Speen was of Natick, and distinguished for fidelity to the English. 

Thomas Waban was of Natick, the son of the earliest convert to Christianity, for a 
long time Clerk, Justice of the Peace, and constable of the Indian town. 

Simon Betoghan was probably the scribe by whom the letter of the sagamores was 

The grantors probably lived on Wigwam Hill. 


hope that they would so do : for divers of them being importuned to go, 
would not.' The exposed and remote situation of the place, affords sufficient 
explanation of the refusal. 

A meeting of those interested in the plantation was held in Cambridge, 
March 3, 1678.^ Gookin, Henchman, and Prentice of the Committee were 
present, with Joel Jenkins, Richard Dana, Philip Atwood, Thomas Brown, 
John Paul, Thomas Groves, John Fay, Thomas Hall, Thomas Skinner, John 
Bemis, Richard Tree, Miscal Flagg, John Upham, William Taylor, Benjamin 
Webb, and Simon Meyling, whose names are entered on the margin of the 
original record. The following paper expresses the result of their deliberations. 

1. 'It is agreed by all the persons named in the margent, that, God 
willing, they intend and purpose, if God spare life, and peace continue, to 
endeavor, either in their persons, or by their relations, or by their purses, to 
settle the said plantation sometime the next summer, come twelve month, 
which shall be in the year of our Lord 1680. 

2. ' They do engage to build in a way of a town, according to a model pro- 
posed by Major Gookin and Major Henchman, or some model equivalent 
thereunto, for the attaining these six ends ; 1st, security from the enemies in 
case (of alarm) : 2d, for the hetter cotivenity of attending God's worship: 3d, 
for the better education of their children in society : 4th, for the better accom- 
modation of trades people : 5th, for better helps to civility : 6th, for more 
convenient help in case of sickness, fire or other casualty, 

3. ' That the most convenient place is to be chosen and pitched upon to 
build the town, sometime this next summer, by the committee, or the major 
part of such of the people as go up to view the place, which is intended this 
next May, if God please. 

4. ' That after the place is chosen and pitched upon, others that are not 
present, do engage to submit and settle there.' 

The resolutions of settlement unanimously adopted, like other good inten- 
tions, seem to have ended with the formation, as no evidence remains of any 
practical attempt to carry them into execution. 

The General Court, at their October session, 1682, gave notice to the Com- 
mittee, that the grant would be considered forfeit and be lost, unless measures 
were taken to form a plantation. 

The necessity of immediate exertion to preserve the rights of those who 
had procured the title of the soil, incurred much expense, and performed no 
inconsiderable labor, in efforts for settlement, having been thus officially 
presented to the Committee, after long negociation, they accepted proposals 
offered by Capt. Henchman and his associates for accomplishing their purpose. 
An agreement was entered into, April 24, 1684," evidenced by a formal instru- 
ment of that date. The inducements to this arrangement are stated to be ; 
' that the plantations might be secured ; the first planters prevailed with to 

1 March 14, 1679, N. S. 2 Proprietors' Records, 13. 



resettle ; others encouraged to plant ; public occasions provided for ; recom- 
pense made to those who have labored therein ; those rewarded that shall 
forward the place ; manufactures promoted ; the country advantaged ; travel- 
lers accommodated ; and not any damnified that are concerned.' The quantity 
of meadow being estimated at 480 acres, it was proposed to divide the whole 
township into that number of lots : 200 for the planters : 80 for public uses 
or specific appropriations ; and the remaining 200 to be laid out on the north- 
ern extremity, forming a division, afterwards known as North Worcester, 
and subsequently rendered permanent by the incorporation of Holden. 

Among other arrangements for mutual safety and provisions for social hap- 
piness, it was stipulated, that ' land for a citadel should be laid out, on the 
Fort River, about half a mile square, for house lots, for those who should, at 
their first settling, build and dwell thereon, and make it their certain place of 
abode for their families : to the end the inhabitants may settle in a way of 
defence, as enjoined by law,^ and formerly ordered by the committee for divers 
reasons, and each one so doing, to have a house lot there, at least six rods 

This citadel, or central station, was on the stream flowing by the present 
town, then called Fort River, from the ancient fortress which had been thrown 
up on its bank : soon after named Mill Brook, from the works moved by its 
waters ; and sometimes denominated Bimeleck. From references at a subse- 
quent period, it may be inferred, its northern line Avas parallel with the town 
way north of the Court House, and that it included the greater part of the 
village of Worcester. 

The contractors were required ' to build two fire rooms in the citadel, to 
shelter such as shall come to settle, and travellers, until there be an ordinary : 
for accommodation of whom,' it is said, ' was one reason of granting the plan- 

There is traditional evidence that a fortified house was erected a little east 
from Main street f it was surrounded with a palisade. The inhabitants 
resorted to its defence by night, and maintained a guard to secure their slum- 
bers. • 

It was enjoined, ' that care be taken to provide a minister with all conven- 
ient speed ; and a schoolmaster in due season ; and, in the interim, that the 
Lord's day be sanctified by the inhabitants meeting together thereon, to wor- 
ship God as they shall be' (able). 

The territory without the citadel was divided into lots of ten and twenty 
five acres : ample reservations were made for public uses and common benefit ; 
for the support of teachers of religion, and the instruction of youth, as well 
as for the encouragement of useful arts and trades. Lands were appropriated 
for building saw, corn and fulling mills. Four lots were assigned to the 
Commonwealth, as our ancestors loved to style the colony, in lieu of those 

1 In 1635, tlie General Court ordered, that ' no new building shall be built more than 
half a mile from the meeting house, in any new plantation.' 

2 This garrison was a few rods east of the head of the street now (1836) called Colum- 
bian avenue, on land over which the street passes. 


1684.] SETTLEMENTS. 35 

reserved for the country by the original grant. The zealous exertions of 
Gookin to promote the prosperity of the infant town were acknowledged by a 
donation of eight lots. Each of the Committee were to be entitled, in their 
official capacity, to four lots, ' for their care and pains.' 

The principles for conducting settlement being fixed, the work of improve- 
ment was soon commenced. A general survey was made by Samuel Andrews 
of Watertown, May 16, 1683 ; the plan, on which the boundaries were delin- 
eated, was presented, on the 7th of May, 1684, and allowed and confirmed. 
The township was estimated to contain 43,020 acres, an allowance of two in 
the hundred being made for the inaccuracy of measuring the wilderness.^ 

A vacancy in the committee, occasioned by the death of Lt. Richard Beers 
of Watertown, killed in the defeat of the English near Northfield, in Sept. 
1675, was supplied, on the application of the survivors, by the appointment 
of Capt. John Wing of Boston. 

Many persons made contracts with Capt. Henchman, and some became 
residents. Corn and saw mills were erected by Capt. Wing, a short distance 
above the bridge at the north end of Main street, where the remains of the 
dam are still visible in the little island that divides the stream. His house 
and barn were placed in their vicinity.^ 

Upon the motion and desire of Gookin, Prentice and Henchman, on the 
10th of Sept. 1684, the Great and General Court granted their request, ' that 
their plantation at Quansigamond be called Worcester.'^ 

Partial surveys were made in May, 1685. A lot was laid out for Gookin, 
of 100 acres, on the east side of Pakachoag Hill, and another lot of 80 acres 
on Raccoon Plain. There were present at this time Gookin himself, Capt. 
Henchman, Nathaniel Henchman his son, David Fiske, the surveyor, Digory 
Seijent, Will, a mulatto, Christopher Reed, and Benjamin Eaton. 

1 Prop. Records, 2. 
- On land now [1836] of Stephen Salisbury, Esq., north of Lincoln square. 

2 The reasons for the selection of the name of AVorcester cannot now be ascertained. It 
was probably adopted from the place of residence of some of the committee or planters in 

The word Worcester is said, Henry's England, ii. .538, to have been derived from the Saxon 
Weyera-ceaster, meaning war castle, and descriptive of the milit.iry character of the place 
to which it was originally applied by the martial clans of remote antiquity. 

In England, one place only bears this name. The city of Worcester, the capital of a 
shire, situated on the banks of the Severn, contained in 1824 a population of about 20,000, 
supported a flourishing trade in gloves and the manufacture of fine china ware, held 
three market da} s the week, and returned two members to Parliament. It is noted in 
hibtory as the scene of a sanguinary battle in IGol, between Cromwell and the Pretender, 
afterwards Charles II., which crushed for a time the hopes of the Stuart. 

In the United States, the rapid birth of new towns has multiplied the name. It had 
been given to the following places, in 1832 : 

1. Worcester, post town, Otsego county, 

2. , post town, Montgomery co. 

3. , town, Washington co. 

4. , township, Wayne county, 

5. ■ , town, Wayne county, 

6. county, chief town, Snow Hill, 

New York, 


in 1830, 2093. 



" 113.5. 






" 1953. 



•' 977. 



" 18271. 


A tract of 80 acres was assigned to Capt. John Wing, around his mills, and 
on the west side of the brook, with the exclusive privilege of its waters. 

George Danson, who was a baker, of Boston, obtained a grant of 200 acres 
on the same side of the stream, north of the citadel, and extending to North 

Thomas Hall occupied the meadow below the mills. 

At this distance of time, without the aid of full records, ill supplied by the 
scattered fragments of history and tradition which have descended, it is not 
possible to ascertain the names or number of the actual settlers of the new 
town which rose from the ashes of the former plantation. 

In addition to those already mentioned, the following were probably among 
the inhabitants : 

Thomas Atherton, George Rosbury, James Daniel, 

Peter Goulding, Isaac George, Matthew Tomlin, 

Isaac Bull, Thomas Brown, Daniel Turell, 

William Weeks, Jacob Leonard, Isaac Tomlin, 

Enos Salter, John Cowell, James Dutton. 

The Committee suffered the loss of one of its most energetic members by 
the death of Capt. Henchman, 1686, who had personally aided and superin- 
tended the allotment of lands. 

The President and Council, administering the affairs of the Province in 
the stormy period of the Revolution following the abrogation of the charter, 
on the 10th of June, 1686, upon the application of the proprietors of Wor- 
cester, reappointed Gen. Gookin and Capt. Prentice of the old Committee, 
and added Mr. William Bond of Watertown, Capt. Joseph Lynde and Deacon 
John Haynes of Sudbury, as new members, with general powers to order and 
regulate all matters concerning the settlement.^ 

For a time we lose sight of the town and its inhabitants. From 1686 to 
1713, no record is preserved on the proprietary book of any transactions. 
Neither history nor tradition informs us of the labors, dangers and sufferings 
of the earlier planters, or discloses particulars to measure the advance of pop- 
ulation under the salutary regulation and prudential guardianship of able and 
discreet committees, or the difficulties interposed by public embarrassments. 
Gen. Gookin, the early and faithful friend of the plantation, was called to the 
rewards of a long life, characterized by fervent piety, enlightened benevolence, 
incorruptible integrity, and the practice of every manly virtue, in March, 1687. 
The office he held in relation to the town was filled by the appointment of 
Capt. Adam Winthrop, who had become proprietor of extensive tracts. 

Other vacancies having occurred, Dec 23, 1691, Capt. Penn Townsend, 
Capt. Ephraim Hunt, and Mr. John Haynes, were added to Capt. Prentice, 
Capt. Winthrop and Capt. Wing, for the ordering of affairs :^ a circumstance 
rendering it certain that the number of settlers had not so increased as to pre- 
vent the necessity of relying on others for the direction of their municipal 

1 Proprietors' Records, 23. ^ province Records, vi. 210. 

1696.] CAPT. fitch's letter. 37 

On the 23d of August, 1696, a house in Oxford was assaulted by the Al- 
bany or Western Indians, and Goodman Levenz and three children of its in- 
mates killed. Mr. Johnson, who was returning to the place, was shot in the 
road. On the intelligence of these outrages and of the appearance of hostile 
parties near Woodstock, Major James Fitch marched to that town. On the 
27th, a party Avas sent out of thirty eight Norwich, Mohegan and Nipmuck 
Indians, and twelve soldiers, to range the woods towards Lancaster, under 
Capt. Daniel Fitch. On their march they passed through Worcester, and 
discovered traces of the enemy in its vicinity. The following letter of their 
commander gives an account of their expedition, 

' To the Rt. Honorable William Stoughton, Esq., Lieut. Governor and 
Commander in chief, &c. 

' Whereas we were informed of several persons killed at Oxford on Tuesday 
night last past, (23d) and not knowing what danger might be near to Wood- 
stock and several other frontiers towards the western parts of the Massachu- 
setts Province : several persons appearing volunteers, both English and In- 
dians, to the number of about 50, (concerning which this bearer, Mr. James 
Corbin, may more fully inform your Honor,) all which were willing to follow 
the Indian enemy, hoping to find those that had done the late mischief; in 
prosecution whereof we have ranged the woods to the westward of Oxford, 
and so to Worcester, and then to Lancaster, and are freely willing to spend 
some considerable time in endeavoring to find any of the enemy that may be 
upon Merrimack or Penicook Rivers, or any where in the western woods : to 
which end we humbly request your Honor would be pleased to encourage 
said design, by granting us some supply of provisions and ammunition, and 
also by strengthening us as to anything wherein we may be short in any res- 
pect, that so we may be under no disadvantage nor discouragement. 

' They may further inform your Honor, that on the sabbath day (28), com- 
ing at a place called Half Way River, betwixt Oxford and Worcester, we 
came upon the fresh tracks of several Indians which were gone towards Wor- 
cester, which we apprehend were the Indians that did the late damage at Ox- 
ford ; and being very desirous to do some service that may be to the benefit 
of his majesty's subjects, we humbly crave your Honor's favorable assistance. 
Herein I remain your Honor's most humble servant, according to my ability. 

Lancaster, 31 August, 1696. Daniel Fitch.' 

On the commencement of the eighteenth century, the peace of the country 
was again disturbed by renewed outrages of the savages, always capricious in 
friendship, treacherous in alliance, and unrelenting in enmity. Although 
Worcester sufi'ered less in Queen Anne's war, which began in 1702, by loss 
of life, than many towns, it shared in the alarm and participated in the mise- 
ries of the final struggles of the red men to reclaim their possessions and 
avenge the wrongs inflicted by our ancestors. 

When the same danger which had once before pressed on the planters, be- 
came extreme, and the Indians again kindled the slumbering flame of mur- 

38 DIGOKY SEEJENT. [1696. 

derous hostility, the second attempt to build a town here was abandoned. 
The inhabitants fled ; the place of their residence was delivered up to decay ; 
the traces of cultivation were effaced ; and the silence of ruin was again over 
the forsaken farms and deserted homes 

Among those who attempted the settlement of Worcester after the first 
unsuccessful enterprise, was Digory Serjent, who had built his house on Sag- 
atabscot Hill, south-eastward of the present town. He was a native of Sud- 
bury, and had been a carpenter by occupation before his removal. A will 
made by him in 1679 is preserved on the Middlesex Records. As the list of 
goods and effects, strangely mingled together, presents example of the humble 
personal possessions of former times, and the style aff'ords specimen of quaint 
peculiarity, it will not be uninteresting. 

'March, the 17th day, 1696. The last Will and Testament of Digory 

' I Digory Serjent, being in my health and strength, and in my perfect 
memory, blessed be the Lord for it ; these few lines may satisfy whom it may 
concern, that I, Digory Serjent, do freely give unto my Daughter Martha Ser- 
jent, my house and land with all its rights and privileges thereunto belonging: 
this house and four score acre lot of land lieth within the township of Wor- 
cester : I likewise do give unto her all my goods ; one flock bed and boulster, 
with one rugg, and two blankets and two coverlets ; six froes ; one broad ax 
and one falling ax and one handsaw ; one frying pan ; one shave ; one drawing 
knife ; one trunk and a sermon book that is at Mrs. Mary Mason's, widow, at 
Boston ; with one pewter pint pot ; one washing tub ; one cow and calf ; one 
mare ; three iron wedges ; two beetle rings : And if in case the Lord should 
see good to take away the said Digory Serjent by death, then I, the said Dig- 
ory Serjent, do leave these things above written unto George Parmeter of 
Sudbury, to be disposed of as he shall see good, to bring up the said Digory 
Serjent' s child ; and if in case that this child should die likewise, then I do 
freely give my house and land with all the goods above mentioned unto George 
Parmeter forever, and to his heirs, to look after these things and to dispose of 
them as he shall see cause. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my 
hand and seal, the day and year above named. There is one gun too. 

Digory Serjent. 

Witnessed by John Keyes, John Wetherby,' 

Having afterwards been married to the sister of Parmeter, (as I think,) his 
family became more numerous, and afforded more victims to be involved in 
the miseries of death and captivity. 

Long after the other planters had fled from the perils of the conflict that 
raged around them, Serjent remained with his children, the solitary occupants 
of the town, resisting all importunity to seek safety by desertion, and resolv- 
ing with fearless intrepidity to defend from the savage the fields his industry 
had redeemed from the waste. 

1702.] DIGORY SERJENT, 39 

During the summer of 1702,^ his residence was unmolested. As winter 
approached, the committee, alarmed by his situation on the frontier of danger, 
sent messengers to advise his removal to a place of security. As their admo- 
nitions were disregarded, they at length dispatched an armed force of twelve 
men under Capt. Howe, to compel compliance with the order. At the close 
of day the party arrived at a garrison near the mills. Here they halted for 
the night, which grew dark with storm and snow, and kindling their fires, laid 
down to rest, while one of the band watched the slumbers of his comrades. 
In the morning they went onward, and reached the house of Serjent on Saga- 
tabscot, at the distance of nearly two miles from the post where they had 
halted. They found the door broken down, the owner stretched in blood on 
the floor, and the dwelling desolate. The prints of many mockasins leading 
westward, still visible through the snow, indicated that they had been antici- 
pated by a short time only in the object of their mission. Having pursued 
the trail of the murderers a little way, they returned and buried Serjent at the 
foot of an oak, long since decayed. On retracing their course to the spot of 
their repose, they found the prints of feet going from the fort towards Wachu- 
set. After the war was ended, the Indians, when they revisited the settlers, 
declared that six of them had entered the building for shelter from the tem- 
pest, when the near advance of the English was discovered, too late o permit 
escape from a force so considerable, and they secreted themselves in the 
cellar. The soldiers had spread their blankets and laid down over the trap 
door, thus securing their foes, until the morning march gave opportunity for 

It was soon found that the children of Serjent were living in Canada. On 
the release of the eldest, she related the particulars of the fearful catastrophe 
they had witnessed. When the Indians, headed by sagamore John, as is said, 
surrounded the house, Serjent seized his gun to defend his life, and was fired 
on. As he retreated to the stair way, a ball took efi'ect and he fell. The 
savages rushed in, with their tomahawks completed the work of death, and 
tore off" the scalp from his head, as the trophy of victory. They seized the 
mother and her children, John, Daniel, Thomas, Martha and Mary, and having 
discovered the neighborhood of the white men, commenced a rapid retreat 
westward. The wife of Serjent, fainting with grief and fear, and in feeble 
circumstances, faltered and impeded their progress. The apprehension of 
pursuit induced the Indian to forego the terrible pleasure of torturing his vic- 
tim. As they ascended the hills of Tataesset, a chief stept out from the file, 
and looking around among the leafless forests as if for game, excited no alarm 
in the exhausted and sinking captive, and awoke no cry of horror to betray 
their course. When she had passed by, one merciful blow from the strong 
arm of the sachem removed the obstruction of their flight. The children, 
they carried away, reached the northern frontier in safety, and Avere a long 

iThis is the date given in the brief account in 1 Mass. Hist. Col. i. 112, copied by Whit- 
ney and subsequent writers. It is probable the death of Serjent -was in 1703 or 1704, at 
the period when Northampton, Lancaster and other towns were attacked by the French 
and Indians. 



time in Canada. Daniel and Mary, preferring the wild freedom of their cap- 
tors to the restraints of civilized life, adopted the habits and manners of the 
Indians. They never again resided with their relatives, although they once 
made them a visit, when Miss Williams, taken at Deerfield, was restored. 

In 1715, Thomas was at Boston. John had been liberated in 1721. Mar- 
tha was probably redeemed earlier than her brothers. She married Daniel 
Shattuck, and returned to dwell on the spot so fatal to her family, as may be 
inferred from the following order, to the commissioners appointed in 1721, to 
make partition of the inherited lands in Worcester. 

' If D. Shattuck's hovel, made of the stuff of the said deceased's old house, 
needs consideration, his brother John must allow for it, if you in your good 
discretion think good : and also for any labor which the said Daniel has done 
on the mother lot : it proves equal that he should have for this year liberty to 
enjoy the fruits of his own labor : so do what is right and equal, as you must 
be sworn.' ' Francis Foxcraft, J. Pro. for Middlesex.' 

The approach of Capt. Howe's party, whose night's rest was at the expense 
of lives and suffering, probably prevented the conflagration of the house and 
the destruction of property. A full inventory of the goods and effects collec- 
ted, was returned into the Probate Office by George Parmeter, who seems to 
have taken administration by virtue of the will, although its provisions were 

Although the power of the savage was crushed, predatory bands visited the 
town. In August, 1709, Elisha Ward, sent on an express from Marlborough 
to Hadley, having stopped to examine his deserted farm, was killed. After 
the permanent settlement in 1713, no lives were lost, but the quiet of the 
inhabitants was frequently disturbed. On one occasion, three Indians were 
discovered lurking near the stream below the upper canal lock. The alarm 
was given and the townsmen extended themselves along the meadow, then a 
dark and tangled swamp, and explored its thickets. One of them discharged 
his musket at an object he supposed to be an Indian, but as the company who 
gathered to the spot discerned no trace of a foe, it was concluded that he had 
been deceived. It was afterwards ascertained that the shot took effect, and 
that the knee of one of the warriors was broken by the ball. Being on the 
margin of the brook, he dropped down the bank, and crawled into an opening 
fortunately large enough to conceal his person. When the pursuit was over, 
his companions returned and carried him into the heart of a deep morass west 
of Pakachoag Hill, where they built a wigwam to shelter him until his wound 
healed, and renovated strength enabled them to depart forever from the land 
of their ancestral heritage. 

Tradition tells that William Taylor, a bold and fearless man, discovering 

1 Relation of Thomas Rice. Rev. Dr. Bancroft's Sermon, 11. Davis's Address, 15. 
% Whitney Hist. 26. 1 Mass. Hist. Col. i. 115. Middlesex Probate Records. Proprietors' 


1709.] planters' petition. 41 

an Indian approaching his house, shot him to death. The son watched an 
opportunity of revenge. He was observed by Taylor, stretched behind a log 
on the margin of the field he cultivated, and the same gun which had been 
fatal to the father sent a bullet to the heart of the descendant. 

The last of the race who here died by the hand of the white man, is said to 
have fallen on the plain, north of the first mill place. 

Fortunately, none of the posterity of the Indian liere remain, to contrast 
their degradation with the lofty and in some points noble character of the 
ancient tribes. 

The following Petition was presented to the Legislature in 1709, by those 
interested in the township, for aid in the resettlement. 

' To his Excellency Joseph Dudley, Esq., Capt. General and Governor in 
chief in and over her Majesty's province of the Massachusetts Bay in New 
England, and to the Honorable the Council and Representatives in General 
Court assembled : 

' May it please your Excellency and Honors. We, the subscribers, presum- 
ing that the resettlement of Worcester would be beneficial to the Province, 
have taken the boldness to trouble your Excellency and Honors with a few 
lines, humbly informing that if we may have a firm foundation of a settlement 
laid and a fort built, and needful protection, we are willing to inhabit and set- 
tle the place. We humbly intreat your Excellency and Honors' approbation 
and direction in the matter ; that so we may take such proper methods as are 
needful, and as you shall direct us unto : And that your Excellency and 
Honors would promote this business speedily, before the season be past, and 
so the settlement be deferred till another year. Thus, in short, we take the 
boldness to subscribe, your Excellency's and Honors' most humble servants, 
Joseph Sawyer, Thomas Barrett, Richard Wiles, 

William Ward, James Caly, Benjamin Headley, 

John Perry, John Wheeler, James Atherton, 

Benjamin Bellows, Thomas Smith, John Sawyer, 

Jonathan Whitcomb, Ebenezer Perry, Abiel Bush.' 

Elias Sawyer, 

The Council ordered, that Elisha Hutchinson, Samuel Sewall, and Nathan- 
iel Paine, Esquires, should be a Committee to consider the expediency of 
granting the request, and the course to be adopted. The House refused to 
concur, as the disturbed condition of the times rendered the enterprise too 
dangerous to be sanctioned by legislative approbation.^ 

1 Province Files, 1709. Province Records, ix. 6, 



1713 to 1722. Third settlement to incorporation. Petition, 1713. New Committee. Re- 
port, 1714. First Settlers. James Rice. Gerstiom Rice. Nathaniel Moore. Garrisons. 
Mills. Roads. View of the town, 1718. Grants to proprietors. Scotch and Irish emi- 
grants. Town incorporated, 1722. 

More favorable prospects having opened in 1713, the proprietors, undiscour- 
aged by former failure, attempted to rebuild the town. On the 13th of Oct. 
Col. Adam Winthrop, Gershom Rice and Jonas Rice of Marlborough, ad- 
dressed the General Court in behalf of themselves and others interested ; ^ 
They represented their desire ' to endeavor and enter upon a new settlement 
of the place from which they had been driven by the war,' and prayed ' for 
the countenance and encouragement of the Court in their undertaking : for 
such directions and regulations as should be thought fit to make them defen- 
sible in case of a new rupture with the Indians : and for a proper Committee 
to direct in ordering the prudentials of the plantation till they come to a full 

The prayer of this petition was granted, and Hon. William Taylor, Col. 
Adam Winthrop, Hon. William Dudley, Lt. Col, John Ballantine and Capt. 
Thomas Howe were appointed a Committee. 

On the 14th of June, 1714, a detailed report was presented by this Com- 
mittee of their proceedings in adjusting the claims of the former settlers and 
promoting the prosperity of the future plantation. After giving notice to all 
interested, and making a journey to Worcester, they had allowed thirty one 
rights of ancient inhabitants, and admitted twenty eight persons more to take 
lands on condition of paying twelve pence per acre for their planting or house 
lots only, being the amount collected of the original planters, and of building 
and dwelling on each right, whether acquired by purchase, grant or represen- 
tation. It was recommended that the provision made for support of the min- 
istry and schools be accepted instead of the reservation to the Commonwealth 
in 1668. 

The Committee asked, as they had spent much time in receiving claims for 
grants of lands, made journeys to effect adjustment of controversies, advanced 
sums of money, and expected to have the care and trouble of the affairs of 
the town for many years, that a lot of forty acres should be assigned to each, 
with just proportions in future divisions, as compensation for services. 

This report was accepted, and received the approval of Gov. Dudley, June 
14, 1714. 

Jonas Rice, who had been a planter during the second settlement, returned 
Oct. 21, 1713. From this day is dated the permanent settlement of the town. 
He built on Sagatabscot hill, and his farm included some of the lands once 
cultivated by Serjent. The selection of residence was probably made with 

1 Prop. Records. 

1713.] riRST SETTLERS. 43 

reference to fertility of soil, proximity to extensive meadows, and it may 
be, from prior occupation by himself.^ He remained with his family alone in 
the forest, the solitary inhabitant of Worcester, until the spring of 1715. 

The union of cool intrepidity and resolute firmness with good sense and 
integrity in the character of Mr. Rice, commanded the respect and secured 
the confidence of his fellow citizens when the town he had founded rose from 
its ashes in renovated beauty to commence that steady progress of prosperity 
which has brightened its advance. He was often elected to municipal offices, 
was frequently representative to the General Court, and was one of the Jus- 
tices of the Court of Common Pleas at the time of his decease, Sept. 22, 1753, 
at the age of 84 years. 

The first male child born in Worcester, Nov. 7, 1714, was Adonijah, son 
of Jonas Rice. On arriving to manhood, year after year, his name is entered 
on the rolls of the provincial troops during the French wars : after each sum- 
mer campaign was finished, he returned to his home, and the quiet of domes- 
tic and agricultural life. He removed to Shoreham, Vt., where he died, Feb. 
1802, aged 88. 

The second settler appears from the records to have been Gershom Rice, 
who came in 1715, to join his brother Jonas, the hardy pioneer of population, 
maintaining his post for nearly two years unsupported by assistance and 
uncheered by associates." 

The third settler was Nathaniel Moore, of Sudbury, a man of exemplary 
character, who was deacon of the first chuurch from its foundation. He died 
Nov. 25, 1761, aged 84 years.^ 

1 Jonas Rice's house stood near that of his descendant, Mr. Sewall Rice, on the town 
way between the Sutton and Grafton roads. 

2 These families of the Rices removed from Marlborough. Their distant ancestor, Rich- 
ard, was one of the early proprietors of Concord in 1635. Edmund, admitted to the 
freeman's oath in 1640, was, in that year, representative from Sudbury and one of the 
petitioners for the grant of Marlborough. 

These families were remarkable for longevity. The father of Gershom died at the age 
of 70 : his mother 81 : They had 14 children : three died in infancy : the others lived to 
advanced age : 1, Peter 97 : 2, Thomas 94 : 3, Mary 80 : 4, Nathaniel 70 : 5, Ephraim 
71: 6, James 72: 7, Sarah 80: 8, Francis 96: 9, Jonas 84 : 10, Grace 94: 11, Gershom 
died Dec. 29, 1769, aged 101 : his wife died at the age of 80 : they lived together in mar- 
riage nearly 05 years and left seven children, some of whom, on the decease of their 
father, were upwards of 70. Boston Gazette, 1769. 

3 His son, Nathaniel Moore, came into the town at the age of three months. He lived 
respected, and died July 24, 1811, aged 96 : The following notice of his character is from 
the jNlassachusetts Spy. 

' He was a man of exemplary piety and benevolence. He resided in Worcester more than 
95 years, being a member of the third family that began the settlement of the town. He 
lived in the marriage state with the same wife nearly 69 years, but left no descendants. 

' He saw this town rise from a state of uncultivated nature to its opulent improvement ; 
witnessed the ordination of five ministers of the Gospel within the town, four of them 
over the same society in succession : saw three houses erected for public worship ; three 
court houses rising on the same spot, one after another, for the administration of justice, 
and three gaols as a terror to evil doers. Thus has ended the life of an honest man, the 
noblest work of God.' 

44 GARRISONS. [1718. 

Capt. Thomas Howe and Lt. David Haynes were appointed by the Com- 
mittee to give certificates for such of the inhabitants as had built upon their 
lots and performed the conditions of their grants. On the 23d of April, 
1718, they returned a list, which has unfortunately perished in the lapse of 
time. The record of surveys, made in the same year, partially supplies the 
deficiency, and enables us to determine the progress of settlement. Well 
authenticated traditions, preserved in the memory of descendants of early 
planters, connected with, and confirmed by this source of information, afford 
materials for delineating a picture of the condition of Worcester, Avhich 
though imperfect, may be considered as presenting a faithful outline of the 
prominent objects. 

The first labor of the inhabitants had been to erect a garrison house, on 
the w^est side of the Leicester road, not far distant from the old south church. 
It was reared by the united labors of all, and those residing near, gathered 
by night to its walls, during the first year. 

Another of these fortresses of logs was near the head of the street called 
Columbian avenue, [1836] constructed by Dea. Daniel Heywood. A patri- 
archal pear tree, planted by him, still stands, at the end of a century, on 
ground he once owned, a venerable example of vegetable longevity. 

The third of the wooden castles, was a large building on the Connecticut 
road, north of Lincoln square, affording shelter to the traveller and defending 
the mills erected on the stream. 

Eastward from the intersection of the Lancaster and Boston roads, near 
the modern Adams square, in the north part of the town, Avas a structure 
which exhibited marks of fortification until an advanced old age. 

A regular block house was placed north of Adams square, where a long 
iron cannon was subsequently mounted to give the alarm of coming danger. 
During the French war, this gun was removed to the green near the meeting 
house. On the commencement of the revolution, it was posted west of the 
Court House, and its voice called our citizens to arms when the tidings of the 
march to Lexington roused the land. Since, it has rested with the other 
artillery of the town. 

Many of the scattered houses were protected by outworks, as well as 
guarded by the bold spirit of the inmates. Joshua Rice held his garrison a 
mile westward of the old mill place, where a cellar still remains to carry back 
the memory to days when a man's house was literally his castle, when the 
musket was laid on the plough beam, and the sword was by the side while the 
hand was on the sickle. From the remote position of Jonas Rice and his 
brother planters of Sagatabscot hill, it is probable some fortified structure 
there aff'orded them security. 

On Mill brook, over the western sluice, where the stream is parted by the 
little island above the bridge, was a saw mill erected by Capt. John Wing, 
then owned by Thomas Palmer and Cornelius W^aldo of Boston, and John 
Oulton of Marblehead, copartners of extensive commercial business, and pro- 
prietors of wide tracts of land. The pond, overflowing the valley above, 
extended its eastern margin to the present Boston road. 

1718.1 VIEW or THE TOWN. 45 

Obediah Ward had built a saw mill above the works long known as the 
Red Mills, near the upper canal lock, which he devised by his will, dated Dec. 
16, 1717, to his son Richard. 

The first corn mill was erected by Elijah Chase, near the Quinsigamond 
Paper Mills, on the Blackstone river. For many years it was the only accom- 
modation of the kind. 

The traveller of 1718, on entering the town from the head of Quinsigamond, 
following the Connecticut road, first passed the houses of Benjamin Crosbee 
and Isaac Miller, on opposite sides of the way, where the buildings of the 
town farm now stand. 

Westward, about half a mile, was the land granted to Ephraim Curtis, 
where his son then lived, still owned by his descendants. 

Next, was the house of Thomas Haggat, whose daughter was the first 
female born in Worcester.^ 

Passing his residence, the Connecticut road followed the little way leading 
to the Lancaster road, by the dwelling of Ichabod and Thomas Brown, to the 
corner north of Adams square, where Henry Lee, Esq., then resided. 

Turning south, the path -went through the valley a few rods westward of 
the highway now used, to the house of Nathaniel Henchman, a son of that 
distinguished officer who was one of the founders of the town.^ 

The Country road crossed Mill brook, by a fording place about a fourth of a 
mile north of the present bridge. After passing the fort and mill, it turned 
west and ascended the hill, to the settlement of Joshua Rice. It was contin- 
ued by a circuitous route to New Worcester. 

The Lancaster way, coming from the north, along the present Boston road, 
went through Main street, then shaded by primeval forests, to the garrison 
house of Deacon Daniel Heywood.^ Moses Rice had thus early opened an 
ordinary or tavern,* a few rods north of the Town Hall. Daniel Ward had 

^ Haggat, among other occupations, manufactured wooden shovels. With the mechanical 
ingenuity, he possessed the trading propensity of a Yankee, Having set oflF on an excursion, 
to dispose of a stock of wooden wares, he was induced to exchange horses frequently, always 
giving some part of his own merchandize to equalize the pretended difiference of value. 
This trade was conducted with so little profit, that the shovel merchant, at the conclusion, 
was glad to regain his original steed by parting with all his remaining property is wood 
work. On returning with the same animal with which he had commenced his journey, 
without any of his stock in trade, he gravely remarked that ' he had saved his horse though, 
he had lost his shovels.' 

^ Henchman was an eccentric man, having even stronger peculiarities of manner than are 
usual attributes of celibacy. He constructed his coffin and hollowed his grave with his 
own hands many years before his decease. Willing to derive benefit while living from the 
first of these tenements of mortality, the box was deposited in the garret, and annually 
filled with the productions of his garden, until he took personal possession. A stone long 
marked the spot where his remains reposed amid the fields he cultivated ; but no memorial 
now indicates the place of his rest. Several aged apple trees, planted by him near hia 
dwelling, on the farm of the late Levi Lincoln, still survive. On his decease, the land 
descended to the family of the late Gov. John Hancock. 

^ On the site of the Central Exchange. * Now United States Hotel. 


46 VIEW OF THE TO-WW. [1718. 

built nearly opposite the old south meeting house. The house of Jonathan 
Hubbard, the first man who died after the resettlement, and that of James 
Rice, more south, completes the enumeration of edifices where population has 
become most crowded. 

After Jonas Rice became a resident of the town, a road was made from the 
head of the pond, passing by the houses of James Taylor, Moses Leonard, 
Palmer Goulding, Richard Flagg, running along the grass-grown path east of 
the Grafton road, and through the fields, by Deacon Nathaniel Moore's to 
Jonas Rice's ;^ thence it was carried westward, in a direct course, across Rac- 
coon Plain to Halfway river, where it joined the Connecticut path. 

These were the two great highways of the town. A log placed over the 
stream where the canal bridge now stands on Front street, accommodated 
those who passed by the house of James Holmes, to that of Gershom Rice, on 
the south side of the Grafton road, where the first orchard was planted. 
This way led into the old Connecticut road through Hassanamisset to Spring- 

A path along Summer street went to the first burial place, situated north of 
the junction of Thomas street. A beautiful grove of oaks waved over the 
graves of the forefathers of the hamlet, emblems of the sturdy characters and 
hardy virtues of those whose narrow beds they shaded. In the recollection 
of many living inhabitants, little piles of stone and mouldering heaps of turf 
marked the last homes of the early settlers. The hillocks and the trees have 
disappeared in the progress of improvement, and the cemetery is no longer 
distinguishable from the green spots unhallowed by the rest of the dead.^ 

The house of Gershom Rice, was the place where meetings for religious 
worship were first held. A building was soon erected for devotional exercises 
on Green street, north of the union of Franklin street, where the inhabitants 
assembled on the Sabbath, until a more spacious meeting house was reared in 
1719, on the site of the old south church. 

There were in Worcester in 1718, if the evidence of the proprietary records 
is to be credited, fifty eight dwelling houses. Tradition says they were hum- 
ble edifices, principally of logs, one story high, with ample stone chimneys. 
Some were furnished with windows of diamond glass, where the resources of 
the proprietor afforded means for procuring such luxury ; the light was admit- 
ted in many, through the dim transparency of oiled paper. It is hardly nec- 
essary to add, that all have long since sunk in decay, or been removed to give 
place to the more splendid habitations of modern times. 

Worcester, probably, contained at this period, about two hundred souls. 

Certificates, entered by direction of the Committee, on the books of the 

proprietors, show that the individuals named below, had complied with the 

order of the Court, by erecting houses upon the lots granted, and occupying 

1 The position of these buildings ia indicated on H. Stebbins' Map of Worcester, pub- 
lished hy C. Harrip, 1S33. 

2 This spot is enclosed [183G] within th« play ground of 'ihj Briok School House, on 
Thomas and Summer streets. 


them three years. The figures indicate the number of acres assigned to each, 
on the first division of lands. 

Jonas Rice, 80: James Rice, 100: Gershom Rice, 80 : all of Marlbor- 
ough: Joshua Rice, 30 : Ellsha Rice, 30: Thomas Gleason, 30: Obediah 
Ward, 30 : Aaron Adams, 30 : David Haynes, 30 : Richard Ward, 30 : 
Ephraim Curtis, 50 : George Parmeter, 60 : Josiah Rice, 30 : Ephraim Rice, 
30 : Ephraim Rice, jun. 30 : Rev. Benjamin Allen, 40 : Nathaniel 
Moore, 40: all of Sudbury: John Elliot and John Smith, 180: Daniel 
Henchman, 150 : Jonathan Tyng, 40: Stephen Minot, 20: William Paine, 
20 : Thomas Palmer, Cornelius Waldo, (with John Oulton of Marblehead,) 
213 : Peter Goulding, 50 : Nathaniel Jones, 40 : George Danson, 200 
all of Boston: Jacob Leonard, 40 : Moses Leonard, 30 : Isaac Leonard, 40 
all of Bridgewater : Isaac Wheeler, 40 : of Medfield : Thomas Brown, 30 
Ichabod Brown, 30 : Thomas Prentice, 60 : of Newton : James Taylor, 30 
Daniel Ijivermore, 40 : of Maiden ; Thomas Haggat, 20 : of Andover 
James Holmes, 40 : of Woodstock : Leonard Hoar, 30 : Henry Lee, 30 
Daniel Heywood, 40 : Josiah Heywood, 30 : of Concord : Thomas Binney, 
40 : John Barron, 50 : James Butler, 40 : Benjamin Fletcher, 30 : Benjamin 
Barron, 30. 

Lots of 40 acres each were assigned for the use of schools, the minister and the 
ministry, and to Col. Adam Winthrop, Col. John Ballantine, Col. William 
Dudley, Col. William Taylor, and Capt. Thomas Howe, of the Committee. 
Other lots were granted very early to Benjamin Flagg, David Bigelow and 
John Stearns, of Watertown : Peter King, Henry Knapp, James Knapp, of 
Sudbury : John Gray, Jonathan Marble, Isaac Miller, Joseph Crosbee, Martha 
Serjent and Andrew Mc Failand. 

Such is the account which record and tradition afford of the appearance of 
the town in its infancy : not uninteresting from the comparison of vigorous 
maturity with early feebleness.^ 

1 When the Indian foe disappeared and the inhabitants became strong, a warfare was 
commenced and long continued, with the ferocious animals and poisonous reptiles infest- 
ing the township. Large bounties were offered for their destruction. In 1728, the sum 
of 3 pence was voted for the death of a rattlesnake, and a draft of £1 on the treasury 
was accompanied with 80 rattles as vouchers. The gratuity was annually increased in 
amount as the common enemy diminished. In 1734, Mr. Jonas Moore claimed payment 
for 72 in his own right. The last demand was as recent as 1758, when 16 serpents were 
paid for at the rate of Id. each. 

The young settlements were much harassed by the incursions of troops of wolves. In 
1734, it is recorded, ' that notwithstanding the law of the Province giving encouragement 
for the destruction of wolves, they still continue very troublesome and mischievous, espec- 
ially among young cattle and sheep : whereby people were discouraged from keeping sheep, 
80 necessary for clothing,' and a reward of £1 was voted for their capture. In 1733, so 
great injury was done by these marauders, that the price of their heads was raised to £8. 

The precipitous cliff still called Rattlesnake rocks, was the favorite resort of wolves, 
bears, wild cats and serpents, in those days, rendering the steep dangerous to man. 

The winged depredators on the husbandman's harvests were early proscribed. A 
bounty of 3d. thinned the armies of blackbirds, jays, and other feathered plunderers. 


The town of Worcester shared liberally in the accession to the population of 
New England, by the emigration, in the early years of the past century, of 
the descendants of a colony of Scots, who removed from Argyleshire, in the 
reign of James I., and formed a plantation in the north of Ireland, near Lon- 
donderry, in the province of Ulster. Adhering with conscientious fidelity to 
the presbyterian tenets, they endured the persecution which pressed on the 
protestants during successive reigns. The accession of William, although it 
lightened their burdens, did not relieve dissenting christians from galling 
exactions. Allowed to retain their form of worship, they were compelled to 
contribute from their resources, to the support of another church. Loaded 
with tythes of the harvests of lands held by tenancy under exorbitant rents, 
they embarked for a country where religious freedom was united with civil 
liberty, and neither tythingman nor taxgatherer had oppressive jurisdiction. 
In 1718, about one hundred families arrived in Boston, and twenty others 
landed at Casco, afterwards followed by new colonies, dispersed through the 

A company of the Scots early settled in Worcester, and here suffered illib- 
eral opposition, and even active hostility. Having formed a religious society, 
they commenced the erection of a rheeting house on the west side of the Bos- 
ton road.^ The timbers had been raised and the building was in the progress 
of construction, when the inhabitants gathered tumultuously by night, and 
demolished the structure. Persons of consideration and respectability aided 
in the riotous work of violence, and the defenceless foreigners were compelled 
to submit to the wrong. Many, unable to endure the insults and bitter preju- 
dices they encountered, joined their brethren of the same denomination, who, 
under the charge of the Rev. Mr. Abercrombie, commenced the settlement of 
the town of Pelham, in the county of Hampshire. 

They were industrious, frugal, and peaceful, contributing to the prosperity 
of the province, by the example of diligence and the introduction of useful 
arts. * They brought with them,' says the faithful historian of New Hamp- 
shire,^ ' the necessary materials for the manufacture of linen : and their spin- 
ning wheels, turned by the foot, were a novelty in the country. They also 
introduced the culture of potatoes, which were first planted in the garden of 
Nathaniel Walker of Andover.' The characteristic of the age in which they 
lived was not charity. Differences of language, habits, and ceremonial, laid 

^Tho grant by Massachusetts of unappropriated lands at the East, not aflfording a 
place suited to the wishes of the emigrants, alter exploring the wilderness, they selected 
a township in New Hampshire, then called Nutfield, from the abundance of its forest 
fruits, and afterwards named Londonderry, from the city of their sojourning in Ireland, 
where sixteen families assembled beneath a venerable oak, on the 11th of April, 1719, to 
unite in devotional exercises. Belknap. Parker's Century Sermon, 1819. 

The society that risited Boston under the spiritual guidance of the Rev. James Moor- 
head, in 1727, formed the Federal street church in that city. Dr. Channing's sermon, on 
the ordination of Mr. Gannet, 1824. 

2 North of the house of Frederic W. Paine, Esq. 
' Balknap's New Hampshire, i. 193. Farmer's edition. 


the foundation of unreasonable hatred, and the strangers were not treated 
with common decency by their English neighbors. Their settlements, in 
other places, were approached by bodies of armed men, and their property, 
in some instances, wantonly destroyed. They were every where abused and 
misrepresented as Irish, a people then generally but undeservedly obnoxious ; 
a reproach peculiarly grievous to the emigrants. ' We are surprised,' writes 
the Rev. Mr. McGregoire, the pastor of Londonderry, in a letter to Gov. 
Shute, bearing date in 1720, as quoted by Belknap, 'to hear ourselves 
termed Irish people, when we so frequently ventured our all for the 
British crown and liberties against the Irish papists, and gave all tests of 
our loyalty which the government of Ireland required, and are always 
ready to do the same when required.' The jealousy with which they were 
first regarded, finally yielded to the influence of their simple virtues and 
sterling worth. ^ 

Abraham Blair, an ancestor of some of our present townsmen, distinguished 
himself in the memorable siege of Londonderry, in 1689. After a series of 
bloody battles, the besieged were reduced to such extremity by famine ' that 
a dog's head was held dog cheap at half a crown.' Blair, William Caldwell, 
and a few others, as an honorary testimonial of their services, were made free 
of taxation throughout the British provinces. 

The Scotch were accompanied by a few of the native Irish, with whom they 
had contracted relationship during their long residence, or been attached by 
community of sentiment and suffering. 

Among those deriving nativity from Ireland, were the ancestors of the 
Young family, who first introduced and planted here the useful potato.^ John 

1 Among those who remained in Worcaster, after the removal of their countrymen, were 
the following persons, whose names are collected from the records of the towa and 

James Mc Gregoire, William Mc Han, John Duncan, John McClentick, 

James Furgerson, John Batley, Duncan Graham, James Glasford, 

John Clark, Andrew Farrand, Hugh Kelso, James Hambleton, 

Alexander Mc Konkey.William Caldwell, James Forbush, Robert Lorthog, 

James Mc Clellan, William Young, Andrew Mc Farland. James Thornington, 

William Gray, Robert Crawford, Fatrick Peables, John Mc Konkey, 

Eobert Gray, Robert Peables, John Peables, Abraham Blair, 

Matthew Gray, Robert Barbour, 

Matthew Thornton, who, as delegate to the Continental Congress from New Hampshire, 
signed the declaration of Independence, is said, by his biographer, to have resided when a 
child among the emigrants in Worcester. 

~ It is remarkable that the esculent, now considered essentially necessary for table and 
farm, should have been introduced at a period so late. It is related, that some of our 
early inhabitants, after enjoying the hospitality of one of the Irish families, were each 
presented with a few potatoes for planting. Unwilling to give offense by refusing the 
present, they accepted the donation : but suspecting the poisonous quality, they carried 
the roots only to the next swamp, and there threw them away, as unsafe to enter their 



Young died June 30, 1730, at the great age of 107 years : his son David, 
died Dec. 26, 1736, aged 94.^ 

The toils and dangers of original settlement being passed, the plantation 
advanced -with vigorous and rapid growth. The swelling population and ex- 
panding resources required municipal powers for the management of the com- 
mon interests of the inhabitants. In 1721, the freeholders and proprietors 
presented a petition to the General Court for incorporation, which was intrusted 
to John Houghton, Esq. of Lancaster, and Peter Rice of Marlborough, with 
the following letter from Jonas and Gershom Rice, the ' fathers of the town,' 
dated May 31, 1721. 

' Gentlemen : "Whereas sundry of the freeholders and proprietors of Wor- 
cester, having preferred a petition to the General Assembly, on several heads, 
as appears by said petition, have empovrered us to take care that it be season- 
ably entered and moved ; inasmuch as it is a difficult time, by reason of a 
contagious distemper now raging in Boston, we know not where the session 
will be ; we, therefore humbly crave the favor of you, Gentlemen, to take the 
trouble upon you, to enter said petition and to move it in the court as there is 

• So, craving your serious thoughtfulness for the poor, distressed town of 
Worcester, we subscribe ourselves your humble servants,' 

Gershom Rice, 
Jonas Rice.' 

Other petitions of similar import were subsequently presented, and, on the 
14th of June, 1722, a resolve passed the Legislature, vesting the inhabitants 
of Worcester with the powers and privileges of other towns within the prov- 
ince, and directing that the freeholders and inhabitants be assembled on the 
last Wednesday of September then next, to choose all town officers, as by law 
accustomed for towns to do at their annual meetings in March. 

Under the authority of this resolve, a warrant was issued by Francis Fulham, 
Esq. of Weston: and on the 28th day of September, 1722, the inhabitants 
convened in their first town meeting. Municipal officers were chosen, and 
from that day, Worcester, then in the County of Middlesex, assumed her place 
among the regularly organized towns of the Commonwealth. 

1 The following inscriptions are cliiselled on the common head stone placed over their 
graves in the old burial place : 

' Here lies interred the remains of ' Here lies interred the remains of 

John Young, who was born David Young, who was born in 

in the Isle of Bert, near London- the parish of Tahbeyn, county of 

derry, in the kingdom of Ireland. Donegal and kingdom of Ireland. 

He departed this life, June He departed this life, December 

30, 1730, aged 107 years.' 26, aged Oi years.' 

' The aged son and the more aged father 
Beneath (these) stones, Their mould'ring benea 
Here rest together.' 


1724.] selectmen's petition. 51 


1722 to 1765. Lovell's war and French wars. Selectmen's petition, 172-t. Gershom 
Eice's letter, 1724. Uriah Ward. Col. Chandler's orders. Selectmen's petition, 1725. 
Capt. Wright's letters, 1725. Benjamin Flagg's letter, 1725. County established, 1731. 
Gov. Belcher's visit, 1735. Soldiers. Excise, 1751. French neutrals, 1755. Military 
exertions, 1756. Col. Chandler's report, 1757. Men in service during French wars. 
Pivision of the county and removal of the Courts opposed. 

The peace of the country was disturbed by the renewal of hostilities by 
the eastern Indians, in 1722, when that war broke out which derives its dis- 
tinctive appellation from Lovell, its hero and martyr. The native tribes of 
Massachusetts had long ceased to be formidable ; but the incursions of the 
allies of the French from Canada spread alarm along the exposed frontier, 
and rendered military force necessary for the security of the settlements. 
"Worcester, in 1722, furnished five men for the country's service, in the com- 
pany of scouts under Major John Chandler. Two were posted at Leicester.^ 
Two others,^ in an independent party, commanded by Benjamin Flagg, with 
the rank of serjeant, kept garrison in this town or ranged the woods. 

In the autumn of 1723, seven of the inhabitants of Worcester enlisted as 
soldiers, and served during the winter. Five' were posted at Rutland under 
Capt. Samuel Wright : Two* were in Capt. Joseph Kellog's company. 

In the spring of 1724, the safety of the town was endangered by numerous 
parties of hostile Indians lurking in the woods; May 3, 1724, the selectmen 
presented the following petition for aid. 

• To his Honor, the Lieut. Governor and Commander in chief, in and over 
his Majesty's Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England. 

' The petition of the subscribers, humbly sheweth : Whereas, the town 
of Worcester is very much exposed to the Indian rebels in the present war, 
there being a great distance between the towns of Lancaster and Rutland, in 
which we lie open to the enemy, we do therefore, at the desire of the princi- 
pal part of our inhabitants, humbly lay our difficulties before your honor ; 
earnestly entreating that you would be pleased, in your great wisdom, so far 
to commiserate our distressed state, as to send us some soldiers to strengthen 
our front garrisons and scout our woods : otherwise we fear the sad effects 
which may happen ; there being no scout in our woods, or soldiers to guard 
our defensible places, or inhabitants most exposed, and very much disheartened 
by reason of the present danger they apprehend themselves to be in ; and if 
your honor will be pleased to afford us some relief, it will be a means to cause 
our front garrisons to keep their stations ; otherwise, we humbly conceive, it 

1 John Gray and Robert Crawford. 2 Ephraim Roper and James Knapp. 

. ' Zebediah Rice, Phineas Jones, John Crawford, Uriah Ward, Moses Rice. 
* John Serjent, Daniel Shattuck. 

52 GEKSHOM eice's lettek. [1724. 

is morally impossible they should : and for that great privilege to your honor's 

poor petitioners, as in duty bound shall ever pray. 

Nathaniel Moore, Benjamin Flagg, jr. ) Selectmen of 
James McLellan, James Holden, / Worcester.^ 

The greater pressure of danger on other towns, scattered over the wide ter- 
ritory in the rapid advance of cultivation, prevented immediate relief being 
afforded. A letter addressed to Col. Chandler, June 21, 1724, exhibits vivid 
description of the condition of the inhabitants of Worcester. 

' Honored Sir : With all due submission, these are to lay before your 
honor, the distressed condition of this poor place. Through God's goodness 
the Indians have made no attack upon us as yet, but we are constantly under 
surprising fears of it. We received the caution from your lionor, with the 
late intelligence of the Indians coming over the lake : also we hear of the 
late mischief done at Hatfield ; and just now we have a post from Rutland 
with an account of the continual discoveries of the enemy, and the last night 
our town was alarmed by (as one of our inhabitants says) discovering an In- 
dian : so that this day (Sunday) we have but a thin meeting : the more be- 
cause some dare not stay from home. I have been but very loth to trouble 
your honor, being sensible of the pressure of business : but waiting so long 
and having no help, and being so very much exposed, your honor will excuse 
me. Our town is not only very much exposed, being so open to the enemy, 
but we are no way capable of defending ourselves ; nor can we expect much 
help from one another. A small number of Indians, according to appearance, 
might overcome the whole place. Further, my house, though near the centre, 
is almost an outside. I have no fort about it : nor if I were able to build 
have I now sufficient strength to keep it myself. I have began to get some 
timber to fortify, but am too weak handed to go through, and understanding 
the backwardness of the country to support us, we are very much disheartened. 
We have an expectation upon your honor to be a father to us, and we hope 
the country will not see us stand here waiting to be a prey to our enemies. 
"We are informed that it is objected against our having assistance, that Brook- 
field, Rutland and Leicester defend us ; but let any one consider that under- 
stands the ground. It is affirmed to me by those that should be best able to 
know, that it is fourteen miles from Brookfield to Rutland, and that a line 
drawn from Brookfield to Rutland will be fifteen miles of our settlement. 
As to Leicester the people there more need help from us than are able to ren- 
der us any, as likewise do Shrewsbury and Hassanamisset. Rutland and 
Brookfield being well garrisoned and manned, what is more common than for 
them (the enemy) to go a little further for advantage in weaker spots ? The 
late instanc3 at Hatfield, as well as many others formerly and lately, are suffi- 
cient witnesses. If we cannot be supported now about our harvest, we must 
be starved out of necessity. Instead of asssistance, we cannot but remind 

1 Province Files, 1724. 

1724,] COL. chandler's letter. 58 

your honor, that we now have five of our soldiers at Rutland in the service ; 
we are informed by rumor, we are allowed ten soldiers, for which we are 
thankful ; but pray, it be possible that the number might be doubled, and 
that they might be sent as speedily as possible. I am ashamed I detain 
your honor so long. I shall conclude by wishing you all prosperity. I am 
your honor's to command, Gershom Rice.' 

' Sundry of our principal inhabitants being present, send their humble duty 
to your honor, and pray that your honor would take what is here written unto 
your serious and thoughtful consideration, and move herein unto the honored 
Lieut. Governor and the Council.' ^ 

The expectation of immediate reenforcement was disappointed. Col. Chan- 
dler, then in Watertown, writes June 22, to the Governor and Council : ' I 
am sorry that the poor people of Worcester, Leicester, and Brimfield, find 
themselves mistaken in having men allowed them to scout and guard said 
towns. I pray your honor's consideration of the distressed circumstances of 
the poor people of these towns, as well as other the frontiers : for the encour- 
agement of whom I shall always be ready to obey such orders as your honors 
shall be pleased to give.' 

In July, orders were issued to Col. Chandler, to impress twenty men for 
the frontier service. Subsequently, other detachments were made from other 
regiments, and nineteen soldiers were stationed at Worcester, where they re- 
mained until the 29th of October, 1724, when they were dismissed.^ 

On the 3d of August, 1724, Uriah Ward, who enlisted in the country's 
service, from Worcester, was killed at Rutland. The following account of 
the transaction is given by Capt. Wright, commanding at that post. 

' About twelve o'clock, five men and a boy being in a meadow in the mid- 
dle of the town making hay, a number of Indians surrounded them, and shot 
first at the boy, which alarmed the men ; they run to their guns, but the In- 
dians shot upon them, and kept them from their guns, and shot down three 
of the men and scalped them, wounded another in the arm, a flesh wound, 
who got home without other injury : the first got home without any damage ; 
the boy is not yet found. The action was hardly over before Col. Tyng came 
into town with thirty men, but was a little too late : but we joined him, and 

1 American Antiquarian Society's Manuscripts. 
2 July, 1724. The company of Capt. William Chandler of Woodstock was stationed at 
Leicester and Rutland. The following are the numbers of men posted in the exposed 
towns at this time : 

Shreswbury, 10. Brookfield, 10. Leicester, 29. 

Lancaster, 14. Rutland, 38. Lunenburg, 12. 

In Worcester, there were 19 : viz. Ephraim Roper, Jonathan Rugg, Samuel Rice, Daniel 
Coney, Jesse Taylor, William Gibbs, Abraham Joslin, John Death, William Harris, 
Ephraim Whitcomb, John Demorris, Jesse How, Joseph Woods, Samuel Fletcher, John Hol- 
land, Robert Hunt, Samuel Cobley, Samuel Rumlymarsh, Peter Lawrence. 

Those at Worcester, Shrewsbury and Leicester, were posted as independent guards to 
the inhabitants, without commissioned officers. 


divided our men, one party Avith the Colonel to follow, the other with me to 
head them : but they got away. 

' Since Col. Tyng went from us, we have made a more particular discovery 
of their number and contrivance in waylaying the meadow where they (the 
Indians) killed the people. There being in number about thirty, as near as 
can be thought, by their squatting places or seats when they sat to watch. 
By what we can learn, they might be near half the company that lay in am- 
bush to shoot down those who come to the relief, so that if there were but a 
small party of men had gone, they would likely have shot them down before 
they had seen the Indians.' 

From a letter of Col. Chandler, it may be inferred, that the presence of the 
soldiers saved Worcester from desolation. On the 7th of August, ' an Indian 
was discovered from a garrison house and fired on by the guard. A soldier 
and a boy being out near a meadow, spied an Indian nearer to the garrison 
than they were. The boy ran away. The soldier presented his gun and was 
ready to fire, when two more rose up by his side ; whereupon he did not ven- 
ture to fire, but fled: and both came safe to the garrison. During the night 
their noises were heard crying as wolves, the people made an alarm, and the 
Indians beat upon a deserted house, drumming violently upon the sides, and 
so went off.' 

The season for the attempts of the enemy having passed, the forces were 
reduced, and those posted at Worcester were dismissed in the end of October. 

Early in April, 1725, Col. Chandler was directed to send orders to the 
officers in the several frontier towns within his regiment, including Worcester, 
' to keep the soldiers and inhabitants upon a strict duty, and to see that they 
be not off their guard, but well prepared to receive the enemy, who they 
may expect will attack them ; and especially that no man go abroad without 
his arms, and in places of hazard that they do not go out except in compa- 

On the 8th of April, Gov. Dummer communicated information to Col. 
Chandler that several parties of Indians were on their way from Canada, and 
ordered him ' to visit the exposed towns in his regiment, and charge the peo- 
ple to be vigilant and careful in their duty, and not expose themselves by 
going abroad unarmed and in small numbers, lest the enemy gain some 
great advantage over them by such stupid neglect as many of our people have 
been guilty of on such occasions.' 

Parties of the Indians having made their appearance in the vicinity, the 
inhabitants petitioned the government for succor. The following letter was 
addressed to Gov. Dummer, April 30, 1725. 

' To his Honor the Lt. Governor : With all dutiful respect, these are to 
acquaint your honor, that news hath just now come unto us of two companies 
of Indians discovered between us and Wachuset ; and whereas, we the last 
summer labored under great difficulties, and hardships severe to be borne, by 
reason of the war with the Indian enemy, not being able to raise corn so 

1725.] CAPT. Wright's letters. 55 

mucli as was needful, or to procure sufficiency of other provision, so as it was 
rendered very difficult to subsist ourselves and families : and, we apprehend, 
that without your honor's pleased to afford us some relief in our present dis- 
tressed state, by strengthening our hands, that the corn cannot be planted, 
the earth tilled, the harvests gathered, or food provided, and that the settle- 
ments in the town will be entirely broken up : wherefore, we humbly entreat 
your honor, that if it may be, we may have some speedy assistance of soldiers, 
to defend us and scout the woods. Our numbers are but small, and many 
disheartened by reason of the exposed situation of the town. We are the 
more earnest in our entreaty for the present relief, as it was so late last sum- 
mer before we had soldiers that we are exceeding behind with our needful 

' Craving your thoughtfulness of these matters, we are in all gratitude and 
respect your humble petitioners, 

Nathaniel Moore, Benjamin Flagg, jr. 
Moses Leonard, James Hold en, 
James McLelkn, Selectmen.' 

The following letter from Capt. Samuel Wright to Col. Chandler,^ May 24, 
1725, shows that the request was complied with, although not until after some 

' Honored Sir : These are to inform your honor that I have received the 
men from your regiment for Worcester. Though some, at least two, not so 
able and effective as 1 could be glad they were, viz : Ebenezer White and 
John Field, both from Capt. Thayer of Mendon, who are not able to travel. 
His honor's the Lt. Governor's order to me was, that I should put suitable 
officers over the men, and that they should scout and guard. But inasmuch as 
my orders are not so clear as that I dare venture to put one of the inhabitants 
officer over them, I have left them under the care and conduct of Capt. Pond's 
son at present : but inasmuch as he, nor any of the men, have not any knowl- 
edge of the woods, so are not like to do much service in scouting, unless there 
be an inhabitant put an officer over them, I desire therefore you would get 
his honor's leave to put Moses Rice and Benjamin Flagg to be the officer over 
them alternately, when one comes in, the other to go out, to have but one 
man's pay : which will be likely to have the duty better performed, and is the 

mind of the town Your honor's very humble and dutiful servant, 

Samuel Wright.' 

Another letter from Capt. Wright, sent from Worcester by Moses Rice, and 
dated in May, 1725, is too curious to be omitted. 

' May it please your honor : I give your honor thanks for care of us in 
sending a new recruit of twelve men. Your honor's directions were, to scout, 
but ar present we have business. The Indians are among us, and have dis- 

1 American Antiquarian Society's Manuscripts. 


covered themselves several times, and we have had several pursuits after them, 
and have been very vigilant in prosecuting all methods to come up with them 
by watching and ranging the swamps and lurking places, and by watching a 
nights in private places without the garrisons : but they are so much like 
wolves that we cannot yet surprise them, but hope we shall by some means 
trepan them. We have now taken a method to hunt them with dogs, and 
have started them out of their thickets twice, and see them run out, but at 
such a distance we could not come at them. Having an opportunity, thought 
it my duty to acquaint your honor with it : but having but a minutes time to 
write could but only give you an account in short, and remain your honor's 
dutiful and obliged servant, Samuel Wright.' 

The names and numbers of those posted at Worcester within this year can- 
not now be ascertained. An incident which occurred during the period of 
their service is related in a letter, July 17, 1725, from Benjamin Flagg. 

• Honored Sir : These are to inform you that we this day went out as a 
guard to those that worked in the meadow to gather in their hay, of fourteen 
men, with those that worked, who wrought in two or three places near to one 
another. As we scouted the swamps round the meadow, we did discover 
Indian tracks, in the morning, in the swamp by the meadow side, which made 
us very strict upon our guard, but made not any more discovery until the 
middle of the day, we sat to eat victuals upon a knoll where we thought we 
might be safe ; but while we were eating, a dog that was with us barked and 
ran out from us. I immediately sent three men to discover, who ran, and 
immediately we heard a running among the brush : which was Indians, who 
had crawled up the brush to make a shot at us. We ran so fast upon them 
that the grass rose up under their tracks, but could not see them, the brush 
being so thick. We pursued them where we heard them whistle one to 
another in the thicket, but they scattered and scampered so we could not find 
them : but found where they had sat down and just gone. We pursued on 
after the enemy : but it is as easy to find a needle in a wood, as find them 
■when scattered. So we returned. This I have thought meet to acquaint 
your honor of, and so I remain, your honor's humble and obliged servant. 
These with care and speed. Benjamin Flagg.' 

The sufferings of the frontier settlements were terminated by the treaty 
concluded with the Indians in the following winter, (Dec. 15,) and ratified in 
the spring of 1726. 

Although relieved from the danger and alarm of hostile invasion, the prog- 
ress of the town in population and wealth was slow during the succeeding 

iln May 1724, the town had receired an amount proportioned to its taxation, of the 
bills of credit or stock of the Public Bank, and applied the depreciating paper currency 
to finish the meeting house. In March, 1728, trustees were appointed to obtain the sum 
of £170, 15 B. granted to Worcester from the emission of £60,000, and make loans to the 
inhabitants from this fund, not exceeding £10 nor less than £5 to each. 


The act erecting the County of Worcester passed April 2, 1731, to take 
effect from the 10th of July following. Its provisions included Worcester, 
Lancaster, Westborough, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Leicester, Rutland, 
Lunenburg, and the south town laid out to the Narraganset soldiers,^ now 
Westminster, taken from Middlesex : Mendon, Woodstock, now in Connect- 
icut, Sutton, including Hassanamisset, now Grafton, Uxbridge, the land gran- 
ted to the petitioners of Medfield, now Sturbridge, from Suffolk : and Brook- 
field, from the County of Hampshire. 

The location of the shire town of the new county occasioned much debate 
and diversity of opinion. For many years, Sutton, Lancaster, Mendon, and 
Brookfield, stood higher in rank, graduated on population and valuation, than 
Worcester. The central position of the latter town, gave it advantage over 
its competitors for the honor of becoming the capital. The proposition to 
make Lancaster and Worcester half shires, having the sessions of Court held 
alternately in each, would have prevailed, except for the opposition of Joseph 
Wilder, Esq., who remonstrated against the administration of justice in Lan- 
caster, lest the morals of its people should be corrupted. His influence 
decided a question of so much importance to its prosperity, in favor of the 
present metropolis. 

The first Court of Probate was held in the meeting house, July 13, 1731, 
and the Common Pleas and General Sessions of the Peace 10th of August 
following, by the lion. John Chandler, then of Woodstock, Chief Justice of 
both tribunals. A sermon was preached on the occasion by the Rev. John 
Prentice, of Lancaster. The Superior Court of Judicature was held on the 
22d of September. The centennial *iiniversary of its session was commemo- 
rated October 4th, 1831, when an address was delivered by the Hon. John 
Davis, of Worcester. 

Capt. Nathaniel Jones and Ensign Moses Leonard irere trustees of the first loan : 
Nathaniel Moore, Daniel Heywood and John Hubbard of the second. 

May, 1726, the inhabitants voted, that thanks be returned to Hon. Adam Winthrop, for 
his bounty in bestowing upon the town a cushion as furniture for the pulpit, and that the 
town clerk present his honor a copy of said vote. 

March, 1729 : voted that the constable warn town meetings in future by going from 
house to house. 1735, the selectmen were directed to erect a suitable sign post, at the 
town's charge, near the meeting house, and the constable to serve notices by posting them 

May 17, 1732, John Chandler, Esq., Capt. Jonas Rice and Mr. Benjamin Flagg, jr., were 
of a committee to return thanks to Mr. AVigglesworth Switcher of Boston, for the present 
(of £5 towards completing the meeting house) he lately made the town, and on the receipt 
of the same to dispose of it to the best advantage. 

^In 1728 and 1733, seven townships were granted by the General Court to the descend- 
ants of the soldiers in the Narraganset war. The grantees assembled on Boston common 
in 1733, and formed themselves into seven societies of 120 persons entitled to one town- 
ship. On the 17th of October, a committee of three from each company elected at this 
meeting, made an allotment of lands. Amoskeag, then called Narraganset No. 4, was 
assigned to those from Worcester and -iO other towns. The number of grantees in each 
must necessarily have been very small ; their names are not preserved. 

58 coiTETS. [1731. 

One term of the Superior Court was held annually in October. 

The Inferior Court had its sittings in May, August, November and Febru- 
ary. The General Sessions of the Peace was composed of all the justices 
within the county, Avho commonly attended and decided the matters presented 
for adjudication by vote.-^ 

When public festivals were few, and anniversaries unfrequent, the terms of 
court were the great holidays of the county ; and its population assembled in 
Worcester, as on a general exchange, for the transaction of business, or pur- 
suit of amusement in the rude sports of the period. The judicial proceedings, 
now forsaken except by parties, witnesses and officers, were generally 
attended by a multitude that thronged the streets. Wrestling, fighting, and 
horse racing were common exercises. The stocks, pillory, and whipping post 
crowned the summit of Court hill, then sloping with steep declivity to the 
highway, and partially covered with bushes. Frequent exhibitions of disci- 
pline attracted crowds of spectators.^ 

Governor Belcher, with the members of the Council, on their way to Albany 
to hold a conference with the Six Nations, visited Worcester, 21st of August, 
1735. The Justices of the General Sessions^ with a delegation of citizens, 
waited on the executive officers of the government. Their complimentary 
address is preserved on the public records, and affords evidence that the con- 
troversy between the royal prerogative and the representatives of the people, 
then directed against grants for permanent salary, had not extended to a com- 
munity who offered such loyal salutations. 

* May it please your excellency : We, his majesty's justices of the Court of 
General Sessions of the Peace, now held in this place, for the county of Wor- 
cester, by adjournment, humbly beg leave to congratulate your excellency's 
safe arrival in this part of your government. It is with hearts full of joy 
that we now see your excellency's face, together with the honorable Council, 
in the shire toM^n of this county, which has received its being and constitution 
by the favor of your excellency, under the Divine conduct and benediction, 
and by whose wise, mild and just administration, this whole province enjoys 

1 General Ruggles, the Chief Justice, in stern derision of the constitution of this court, 
on one occasion, reprimanded a dog who had taken his seat beside his master, for appear- 
ing on the bench before he had been qualified as a Justice of Peace, and directed him to 
go and be sworn before he came to vote there. 

2 The common practice of racing in Main street during the terms of the courts having 
become a nuisance, the following prohibitory TOte was passed, September 19th, 1745. 
' Whosoever shall for the future, during the space of three jears from the loth day of 
November next, in the times of the sittings of the superior court of judicature, court of 
assize and general jail delivery, the times of the sitting of the inferior court of common 
pleas and general sessions of the peace in this town, presume to run races on horseback, 
or pace their horses for trial in the country road, from the house of Mr. Joshua Eaton to 
the house where Mr. Richard Wheeler now lives, shall forfeit the sum of 20 s. lawful money 
to the use of the poor of the town.' 

3 The Justices present, were John Chandler, Josiah Wilder, William Ward, William Jen- 
nison, John Chandler, jr., Josiah Willard, Nahum Ward, Henry Lee, Samuel Willard and 
John Keyes. 

1735.] GOT. belcher's visit. 59 

great quietness, wHcli, we trust, will be continued and accepted in all places 
with all thankfulness. We are also sensibly affected that your excellency has 
condescended, and is now pursuing, a very necessary, although a very difficult 
and tedious, journey, to visit the western frontiers, and meet with the Cagna- 
waga Indians, and such tribes as may be desirous to renew their friendship with 
this government, in order to preserve and perpetuate the happy peace subsist- 
ing with them. May your excellency and the honorable gentlemen of the 
Council, and such of the honorable House of Representatives who attend you, 
be encompassed with the Divine favor as with a shield, and in due time 
returned in safety to your respective habitations.' 

The Hon. John Chandler having read this Address to the Governor, in the 
language of the record, ' his excellency was pleased to return the following 

' Gentlemen : I thank you very kindly for the welcome you give me, with 
Ihehon. gentlemen of his majesty's Council and the gentlemen of the House 
of Representatives, into this part of his majesty's province. I take this 
opportunity of assuring you that I shall always cheerfully join my power 
with yours, that justice and judgment may flourish in the county of Wor- 
cester, which will greatly contribute to the happiness and welfare of the 

After this reply, the justices returned, and immediately adjourned without 

William Jennison, Esq. and Mr. Gershom Rice, were appointed as a com- 
mittee, in March, 1737, 'to repair to the Great Falls at the head of Provi- 
dence river, or where Blackstone's river falls into the salt water, to see if it be 
possible for the falls to be made practicable for fish to come up ; provided the 
towns lying on said river, or near adjoining, join in sending committees also.' 
It is noted that ' these gentlemen offered to go upon free cost.' Although 
they reported that the stream could be made navigable for fish, and £30 were 
appropriated for the purpose, no benefit resulted from the examination or 
grant, and the fund was restored to the treasury. 

The town contributed liberally to the defence of the province during the 
wars with the French, sent its men, and expended its means freely for the 
reduction of the fortresses of Nova Scotia and Canada. The voluntary exer- 
tions of the inhabitants in support of the government, and in aid of its mili- 
tary expeditions, would, seem incredible, if they were not verified by authentic 
rolls, rendered on oath, by officers in command, and by the testimony of his- 
tory to the ardor of the patriotic spirit pervading the community. 

The quota of Worcester, in the army of Sir William Pepperell, for the 
conquest of Cape Breton, is not exactly ascertained. Benjamin Gleason, who 
enlisted in that service, died before the walls of Louisbourg, in 1745, before 
its surrender. Adonijah Rice, the first born of our native citizens, was in a 
company of rangers in the seige. 

In 1746, an alarm of a French invasion spread through the country. The 

60 FKEXCH WAK. [1745. 

express sent by Governor Shirley arrived Sept, 23d, when the inhabitants 
were assembled in town meeting,-^ Abandoning their municipal affairs, they 
immediately adjourned and took up arms. Before sunset the whole military 
force was mustered, and ready to march with a week's provisions to meet the 
enemy. A second messenger arrived seasonably to prevent their departure. 

Fort Massachusetts had been erected by the province at the beginning of 
the war, in 1744, at Hoosick, now Williamstown, to guard the western fron- 
tier. After its capture by Vaudrieul,^ in August, 1746, it was strengthened 
and defended by a sufficient garrison, partly from Worcester. Eight of our 
men^ were stationed there from Dec. 1747 to March 1748. 

The depredations of the Indians were so injurious in the summer of 1748, 
that 200 volunteers were enlisted from Col. Chandler's regiment, with some 
from Hampshire, to drive them back to Canada. Brigadier Dwight was 
entrusted with the command. One company of fifty three, all from Worces- 
ter, marched on the eighth of August, and returned after a campaign of 
seventeen days, having accomplished their object without loss, the enemy 
retiring without giving battle. The officers were Daniel Heywood, Major 
commandant : John Stearns, Captain : Tyrus Rice, Lieutenant : Richard 
Flagg, Ensign. 

In 1754, a bill was proposed, imposing an excise on wines and spirits, con- 
taining an extraordinary provision, obliging every householder, when required 
by a collector or deputy, to render an account under oath of the quantity of 
such liquors consumed in his family, not purchased of a licensed person, and 
to make payment of the duty. Gov. Shirley refused his assent, and pro- 
cured the printing of the bill for the consideration of the people. Sept. 2, it 
was unanimously voted ' to be contrary to the mind of the town that the act 
relating to the excise on the private consumption of spirituous liquors be 
passed into a law ; and that John Chandler, the representative of the town, 
use his utmost endeavor to prevent the same.' This is the earliest instance 
on our records of the instructions of the constituents to their representative. 

Thirteen soldiers were in service this year under Capt. John Johnson, and 
were employed at forts Western and Halifax, near Augusta and Waterville, on 
the Kennebec river. 

In May, 1755, it appears from the returns of Gen. John Winslow, seven- 
teen men from Worcester were in his majesty's service in Nova Scotia under 
his command : seventeen more were posted at Fort Cumberland. John 
Walker, after having served in a provincial regiment in different grades, was 
commissioned as a captain in the king's army. 

Adonijah Rice and another soldier, engaged in the expedition against 
Crown Point, in August. In September, orders were issued to Col. Chandler 
to impress troops for the reinforcement of the army. Sept. 17, fourteen vol- 
unteers were returned from Worcester. 

iTown Records. 2 Williams' Vermont, i. 333. 

3 Abraham Bass, William McLellan, Silas Pratt, Abner Roberts, John Crawford, Sam- 
uel Brewer, Abraham Peck and Hezekiah Ward. These were under Capt. Elisha Uawley. 


On the 21st of October, the inhabitants instructed Col. Doolittle, the rep- 
resentative, to join in no measure countenancing a stamp act. 

In the autumn of 1755, that cruel measure of policy, the darkest blot on 
our history, the removal of the inhabitants of Nova Scotia and their disper- 
sion through the provinces, was executed by General Winslow. About a 
thousand of the French Neutrals, as these unfortunate people were called, 
arrived in Boston at the beginning of winter, and were distributed among the 
several towns designated by a committee. The proportion assigned to Wor- 
cester was eleven. They were received and supported by the selectmen, at 
the expense of the province. The following description is annexed to an 
account rendered for their subsistence. 

' Eleven French persons ; an aged man and woman 65 or 70 years old, 
past labor ; the female very weak ; a girl about seventeen years old, who 
employs her whole time in taking care of the old people. They have four 
sons who support themselves. In this family are Jean Herbert and Monsieur 
Lebere. Justin White and his wife, aged about thirty, both very feeble, the 
man inclining to a consum 31 ion and unfit for labor; they have three small 
children, the eldest but about five years old, all chargeable ; one of the chil- 
dren has been born very lately, so that the whole number now is twelve.' 

These families, torn from their homes, reduced from comparative affluence 
to desolate poverty, thrown among strangers of different language and religion, 
excited pity for their misfortunes. Their industrious and frugal habits, and 
mild and simple manners, attracted regard, and they were treated here with 
great kindness. They cultivated a little tract of land, were permitted to 
hunt deer at all seasons, and aided in their own support by laboring as reap- 
ers and by manufacturing wooden implements. Although they tilled the 
fields, they kept no animals for labor. The young men drew their fuel and 
materials for fencing on the ground, with thongs of sinew, and turned the 
earth with a spade. So deep was the feeling of their sufferings in their vio- 
lent removal, that any allusion to their native country drew from them a flood 
of tears. The aged persons died broken hearted. In 1767, the remnant 
removed to Canada among their countrymen. The town then granted £7 to 
lay in stores and pay the passage of John Lebere to Quebec, and authorized 
the selectmen to raise that sum by loan. 

The year 1756 was marked by increased exertions of the inhabitants to fill 
the ranks of the army destined to act against Crown Point. Our own cit- 
izens freely volunteered in the expedition, whose success, it was confidently 
expected, would terminate the war which pressed so heavily on the resources 
and population of the province. A company of 43 men was raised under 
Capt. Aaron Rice of Rutland ; on his death in camp, he was succeeded in the 
command by Lieut. Jacob Hemmenway. Forty-four other soldiers were 
returned by other officers in Col. Ruggles' regiment, in the service of the 
country. Some of these troops suffered in the reverses of the campaign. 
Daniel Stearns was made prisoner near Fort Edward ; Edw^ard Hair, at the 
capitulation of Oswego : and Jonathan Child in the vicinity of Fort William 


Henry. They were detained in captivity at Montreal until the exchange in 
1758. Many died of epidemic diseases at Lake George. 

Regimental head quarters were established at Worcester, which was appoint- 
ed the rendezvous of troops to be mustered into service. The town was 
often filled Avith military detachments waiting orders to march, and the neigh- 
boring hills whitened with tents. 

A depot of munitions of war was formed for the armament of the levies as 
they advanced towards the scene of operations on the western frontiers. A 
report of the commissary shows a total of 403 arms complete, 7 boxes of 
guns, 403 bayonets, 212 blankets, 151 bandoliers, 80 cartouch boxes, 1 cask 
of powder. 

Earl Loudon, successor of Gen. Shirley, in expectation of an attack from 
the enemy, ordered Col. Chandler, on the 30th of September, to detach one 
hundred and fifty men for the reenforcement of his army. The militia com- 
panies of the town, with the former levies from the regiment, promptly marched 
under James Putnam, the distinguished counsellor, beariug the military rank 
of Major. After waiting at Westfield for the troops of Hampshire, finding 
the necessity for their services had passed, the forces of "Worcester county, 
amounting to 300, were dismissed and returned. 

Intelligence of the siege of Fort William Henry, Aug. 4, 1757, induced the 
Governor to order the colonels of all the regiments to hold each man in read- 
iness to march at a moment's warning. 

The following report, July 20, 1 757, shows the preparation of Worcester, then 
included in the first regiment under the command of Col. John Chandler, jr. 

' Agreeably to an order of the honorable, his majesty's council, of the fifth 
of July last, requiring me to take eflfectual care that every person, both upon 
the alarm and train band lists, within my regiment, and the several stocks in 
said regiment, be furnished with arms and ammunition according to law, if 
not already provided : immediately on the receipt of said order, I forthwith 
sent out my warrant requiring a strict view into the state of the respective 
companies and toAvn stocks in my regiment, and returns have since been made 
to me that they are well equipt. 

' And agreeably to an order of the honorable, his majesty's council, of the 
6th of June last,-^ requiring me, in case of an alarm being made, or notice 
given of the approach of an enemy by sea, to cause my regiment to appear 
complete in arms, with ammunition according to law, and each man to be fur- 
nished with seven days provision of meat. I also sent out my warrant, 
requiring the several companies, in such case, with the utmost expedition to 
march to Boston, and further to act agreeably to such orders as they shall 
receive. Agreeably to the order aforesaid, return has been made from the 
respective companies that they are each ready to march at an hour's warning. 

John Chandler, jr., Colonel.' 

1 A French fleet having appeared off the coast, alarm and dismay spread through the 
country, in apprehension of an invasion of New England. These orders were issued to 
meet the danger from this source. 



Fort William Henry having surrendered, and advices having been received 
of the advance of the French to attack Gen. Webb, orders were issued to 
Col. Chandler ' to march the regiment of militia under his command into the 
extreme parts of the province on the western frontier, there to receive such 
further orders as shall be necessary for the aid and assistance of his majesty's 
troops.' The country, which had been resting on its arms during the whole 
summer, roused itself at the summons. The whole militia of the town 
marched on the 10th of August. One company mustered 56 men, with Col. 
Chandler himself at the head ; James Goodwin, was Captain, Noah Jones, 
Lieut., David Bancroft, Ensign, and Nahum Willard, Surgeon. Another 
company, 54 strong, was under Major Gardner Chandler, with Capt. John 
Curtis, Lieut, Luke Brown, and Ens. Asa Flagg. They reached Sheffield, 
105 miles distant as the roads then were, where they were met by orders from 
Gen. Webb, and intelligence that the enemy remained contented with his 
acquisition. On the 8th of August they were disbanded, except a few men 
detached to Stockbridge. 

Eight of our men, in the troop of cavalry under Lieut, Jonathan Newhall 
of Leicester, reached the army at Fort Edward. Ten soldiers, regularly en- 
listed, served during the campaign. 

On the 17th of September, Gen. Amherst halted for a day here, on his 
march westward, with an army of 4500 men. Capt. Samuel Clark Paine 
commanded a company, principally raised in Worcester, in this body, and 
served during the winter. There are nine soldiers under Gen. Abercrombie in 
the unfortunate attack on Ticonderoga. 

This company continued in service in the splendid campaign of Gen. Am- 
herst, during 1759. Daniel McFarland was Lieutenant, and the late Samuel 
Ward of Lancaster, Ensign. Twenty-three non-commissioned officers and 
privates are returned from Worcester as doing duty in its ranks. Fourteen 
men more were in other companies of Gen. Buggies' regiment. William 
Crawford officiated as Chaplain of Col. AbijahWillard's regiment. Benjamin 
Stowell was Lieutenant of Capt. Johnson's company. Many returned labor- 
ing under the diseases contracted by residence in the region of fever and ague. 

Capt. Paine having died in December, Lieut. Daniel McFarland was elec- 
ted to the command of the company, in Feb. 1760. William Ward is re- 
turned as Lieut. Samuel Ward, the Ensign, was promoted to be Adjutant of 
Col. Willard's regiment. William Crawford, the former Chaplain, became 
Surgeon in Gen. Buggies' regiment. Thomas Cowden served as Lieutenant 
in Capt. Jefferds' company, and twelve privates are borne on the rolls, as from 

In 1761, Thomas Cowden was commissioned as Captain : twenty-five men 
from Worcester were in the army from May to November, principally under 
his command. He remained in service till the end of the following year. 
Nine soldiers only appear to have enlisted with him. 

The peace of 1763 terminated exertions, which, in reference to the popula- 
tion and resources of the province, may well be deemed extraordinary. The 


•whole number of men furnished by this town alone, during the French wars, 
for defence and conquest, as derived from the well-authenticated rolls still 
preserved, exceeded 450, as appears from the following summary. 

1748, 69. 1758, 20. 

1754, 13. 1759, 43. 

1755 34. 1760, 17. 

1756, 93. 1761, 26. 

1757, .... 130. 1762, 8. .. 453 men. 

In these numbers are not included those who enlisted into the regular army : 
nor, except in 1748 and 1757, the occasional service of the militia companies. 
It is probable that many names have been omitted in the examination of vol- 
uminous papers in the archives of the state, and as the series is not perfect, 
many may have been lost. 

Worcester furnished to the provincial service during this period, 1 colonel, 
1 lieutenant colonel, 2 majors, 6 captains, 8 lieutenants, 7 ensigns, 27 Ser- 
jeants, 2 surgeons, a chaplain, and an adjutant. 

The same patriotic spirit, which was the moving spring of efforts so con- 
siderable, pervaded the province. ' Nearly one third of the effective men,' 
says Minot, ' were in military service in some mode or other, and all this zeal 
was manifested after the most depressing disappointments, and a burden of 
taxes which is said to have been so great in the capital, as to equal two thirds 
of the income of the real estate.' 

The advantages from the sessions of courts, the erection of buildings, and 
the residence of public officers, having become apparent in the prosperity of 
Worcester, attempts were made to transfer these benefits to the towns who 
had once declined their enjoyment. 

In 1764, Timothy Paine, James Putnam, John Chandler, were a committee 
to give reasons to the General Court, why the petition of Abel Lawrence and 
others, praying for a new county from the northern part of Worcester and the 
western part of Middlesex, should not be granted. 

This project was urged during several sessions of the Legislature. Remon- 
strances were presented from towns in both counties against the dismember- 
ment. After orders of notice had been issued, and several committees had 
taken the expediency of division into consideration, the petitioners abandoned 
their object, in 1766. 

Lancaster having petitioned for the sessions of feome of the courts there, it 
was voted, ' that by removing any of them from the town of Worcester, the 
shire of the county, to Lancaster, three fourths of the inhabitants of the 
county will be obliged to travel farther than they now do.' Mr. Joshua Big- 
elow, then representative, was instructed to use his utmost endeavor to pre- 
vent the removal, and procure the establishment here of another term of the 
Superior Court. In the former he was successful. 




1765 to 1775. American Revolution. Instructions, 1766, 1767. Resolutions, 1768. Cov- 
enant, 1768. Tea. Votes, 1773. Committee of Correspondence, 1773. Political Soci- 
ety. Peter Oliver. Address of Grand Jury, 1774. Report on grievances, 1774. In- 
structions. Protest of royalists. Town Meeting. Record expunged. Non-consumption 
covenant and oath. Mandamus counsellors. Assembly of the people. Alarm. Min- 
ute men. Courts stopped. County Convention. Sheriff Chandler. William Campbell. 
Instructions. Blacksmiths' Convention. Depot of military stores. 

We have now reached the period of deepest interest in our history. The 
middle of the century had scarcely past, before the shadows of oppression 
began to darken the land, and the first tremulous motions of the revolution, 
which finally upheaved the colonial government, were felt. The collision of 
popular privilege with royal prerogative, maintained during successive years by 
the representatives, had prepared the people for the investigation of the prin- 
ciples on which their connection with the mother country rested, and waked 
their vigilance for the protection of chartered and inherited rights. The long 
series of wars we have reviewed, were useful schools, diffusing military spirit, 
and imparting knowledge of strength and skill, and confidence for repulsing 

When the appeal to arms approached, many of the inhabitants of Worces- 
ter most distinguished for talents, influence, and honors, adhered with con- 
stancy to the king. In the hostility of party and the struggles of warfare, 
they were driven into exile and loaded with reproach. At this distance of 
tirne, when the bitterness of the controversy has long subsided, while we do 
justice to their memories, a warmer glow of gratitude springs in our hearts 
for the patriots whose prophetic forecast saw, beyond the dangers and suff'er- 
ings of the contest, the prosperity and happiness that brighten over our repub- 
lican institutions. The royalists here, were those who had sustained, with 
equal fidelity and ability, the highest civil and military offices, enjoyed the 
confidence of their fellow citizens, and given testimony of their love of coun- 
try by earnest exertions in its service. 

Standing as they did, and knowing how scanty were the resources for resis- 
tance, they might well entertain doubts whether the period had arrived, when 
it was possible to secure independence, and refuse to hazard all that was 
dear on the uncertain issue of a war with the most formidable nation of 
Europe. Educated with sentiments of veneration for the sovereign to whom 
they had sworn fealty, indebted to his bounty for the honors and wealth they 
possessed, loyalty and gratitude alike influenced them to resist acts, which, to 
them, seemed treasonable and rebellious. However much they erred in judg- 
ment and feeling, we may respect the sincerity of motives, attested by the 
sacrifice of property, the loss of home, and all the miseries of confiscation 
and exile. Some among them, it is known, were ardently attached to the 
principles of liberty : but, in their view, the opposition to the measures of 

66 INSTRUCTIONS. [1765. 

government was premature in its advance to extremities. The times did not 
admit of a middle course. The crisis had indeed arrived, although they mis- 
understood the progress of events, and became involved in indiscriminate 

It is not for the purpose of wantonly drawing from oblivion those, whose 
descendants have been among our worthiest citizens, that the names of the 
royalists are mentioned in the following narrative. To understand the trans- 
actions, it is necessary to know the persons who were engaged in them, and 
to whom they applied. By changing even slight features, the resemblance of 
the picture would be destroyed. The annals would be worthless, which im- 
paired confidence by the suppression of truth, even though unpleasant and 
unwelcome. There is no discretion entrusted to the historian to select among 
the events of the past. It is his task to relate with fidelity the incidents of 
the times he reviews, that he may place loyalty and patriotism in their just 

The earliest expression of opinion, on the records of the town, in relation 
to revolutionary measures, was on the 21st of October, 1765, when Capt 
Ephraim Doolittle, the representative, was inistructed to join in no measure 
countenancing the stamp act. 

Soon after the destruction of the property of Gov. Hutchinson and other 
officers of the crown, in August 1765, at the Superior Court, the Grand Jury 
expressed to the Chief Justice, in strong terms, the disapprobation of the 
people of the riotous proceedings in Boston, 

In May following, the town refused to give instructions respecting restitu- 
tion to those who had suffered from the disgraceful violence. 

The instructions to the representative^ 19th of May, 1766, are, generally, 
marked by singular good sense and moderation. 

' 1 . That you use the whole of your influence and endeavor, that no person 
holding any fee or military office whatsoever, especially Judges of the Supe- 
rior Court, Judges of the Probate, Registers of Probate, Secretary, Clerk of 
either of the Courts, Sheriffs, or Province Treasurer, be chosen into his maj- 
esty's Council of this province, and that you attend at the election of Coun- 
sellors, and give your vote accordingly. 

' 2. That you endeavor, that, for the future, the General Court of this province 
be held in an open manner, that such as are so minded and behave agreeable 
to good order, may see and hear how affairs are conducted in said court, and 
if the desired end be obtained, that a proper and convenient house, both for 
the court and spectators, be forthwith prepared. 

' 3. That you endeavor, that the present fee table of this province be made 
null and void, and that a new fee table be made and established instead 
thereof, which shall be more equal and impartial ; not giving to any officer 
in the government, except the Governor, more nor less than you would be 

^ Ephraim Doolittle. The instructions were reported by Jonathan Stone, Benjamin 
Flagg, and Nathan Baldwin. 

1767.] iNSTEircTioNs. 67 

■willing to do the same service for yourself; and that you observe this rule in 
granting pay for contingencies and occasional services. 

' 4. That you endeavor, that there be no monopoly of public offices in this 
government, and that one man be not invested with more than one office at 
one time, except it be compatible with the true interests of the people in 

' 5. That you endeavor, that there be a law made, that whenever any repre- 
sentative shall receive any office or commission from the Governor, he shall 
be dismissed the house, and not be allowed to act as a member thereof, 
without he should be chosen anew by his constituents ; and that the said 
constituents be forthAvith served with a new precept to call a meeting for the 
choice of some meet and suitable person to represent them in the Great and 
General Court. 

' 6. That you endeavor, the excise act be repealed, and that there be no 
excise laid upon any commodities of trade, but that all lawful trade be encour- 
aged, and free of duty or excise ; and that all the public charge be paid di- 
rectly by a rate, except such money as shall be raised by fines for the breach 
of the good, wholesome laws of this province. 

' 7. That the law for keeping of Latin grammar schools be repealed, and 
that we be not obliged to keep more than one grammar school in a county, 
and that to be at the county charge, and that each town be obliged by law to 
keep good and sufficient schools for the education of their youth in the art of 
reading, writing and arithmetic, and that the schoolmasters for the said pur- 
pose shall be such as shall be approved of by the selectmen of each respective 

' 8. That you use your utmost endeavor, that a law be made to prevent 
bribery and corruption m the several towns in this province in the choice of 

' 9. That you give diligent attendance at every session of the General Court 
of this province this present year, and adhere to these our instructions, and 
the spirit of them, as you regard our friendship, and would avoid our just 

The instructions, reported by Ephraim Doolittle, Nathan Baldwin, and 
Jonathan Stone, on the 18th of May, 1767, breathe a similar spirit, and are, 
in many respects, applicable to the present times. 

' To Mr. Joshua Bigelow : Sir : As we have devolved upon you the 
important trust of representing us at the Great and General Court, the year 
ensuing, we, your constituents, therefore, think it our duty and interest to 
give you the following instructions relative to some of your conduct in said 

'1. That you use your influence to maintain and continue that harmony 
and good will between Great Britain and this province [which] may be most 
conducive to the prosperity of each, by a steady and firm attachment to Eng- 
lish liberty and the charter rights of this province, and [that] you willingly 

68 EESOLUTIONS. [1768. 

suffer no invasions, either through pretext of precedency, or any other way 
whatsoever : and if you find any encroachments on our charter rights, that 
you use your utmost ability to obtain constitutional redress. 

'2. That you use your influence to obtain a law to put an end to that 
unchristian and impolitic practice of making slaves of the human species in 
this province ; and that you give your vote for none to serve in his majesty's 
Council, who, you may have reason to think, will use their influence against 
such a law, or that sustain any office incompatible with such trust : and in 
such choice, prefer such gentlemen, and such only, who have distinguished 
themselves in the defence of our liberty. 

* 3. That you use your influence that the fee table of this province be 
established more agreeable to the rules of justice. Set not to the sheriff", as 
fees, double as much pay as the service may be done for, and in general is by 
the deputy sheriflfs ; neither oblige jurymen, &c., to do service at the expense 
of their own private estates, or be subjected to large fines or penalties; but 
subject all, or none at all, by penalties, and appoint so much fees and no more, 
as may be agreeable to each service ; and that you observe this rule, in granting 
pay for occasional and contingent charges. 

' 4. That you use your endeavor to relieve the people of this province 
from the great burden of supporting so many Latin grammar schools, whereby 
they are prevented from attaining such a degree of English learning as is 
necessary to retain the freedom of any state. 

' 5. That you make diligent inquiry into the cause of such general neglect 
of the Militia of this province, and endeavor a redress of such grievance ; 
without which, we apprehend, in time, we may be made an easy prey of, by 
the enemies of Great Britain. 

' 6. Take special care of the liberty of the press. 

' And, Sir, we hope and trust, that in all matters that may come before 
you, you will have a single eye to the public good, have a watchful eye over 
those who are seeking the ruin of this province, and endeavor to make this 
province reciprocally happy with our mother country.' 

The indignation of the people on the promulgation of the act of Parliament 
imposing duties on paper, tea, and other articles imported into the colonies, 
was first manifested in Boston. In October, 1767, a meeting was held there, 
and resolutions to encourage domestic manufactures and refrain from pur- 
chasing the taxed articles, were passed and transmitted to the selectmen of 
every town. 

At the next session of the Legislature, resolves of similar import were 
adopted, which are recited in the papers and copied below. 

On the 14th of March, 1768, a town meeting was held in Worcester, when 
the subject was presented. The following extract from the record exhibits 
the proceedings of the inhabitants. 

' The article in the warrant being read relative to promoting industry and 
economy, Mr. Joshua Bigelow, our representative, moved to the town, that 
before they came to a vote he might read the vote of the hon. House of Rep- 

1768."] COVENANT. 69 

resentatives of this province, passed the 26th of Feb. last, relative to the 
promoting industry, economy and good morals, and for the discountenancing 
the use of foreign superfluities, and to encourage the manufactures of this 
province ; which was granted him : it was also moved and seconded, that the 
reasons given by the Hon, Timothy Ruggles, the representative of Hardwick, 
on his dissenting answer to the vote aforesaid, might be read also : ^ which 
accordingly was done, and the question was put whether the town would buy 
any British manufactures more than they could pay for, and it passed in the 

The sentiments of the inhabitants are more easily deduced from subsequent 
events, than understood from the concluding expressions of the record. The 
town clerk, a gentleman of strong royalist attachments, was not probably 
desirous of correcting any absurdity in the motions of his political adversa- 

Scon after this meeting, the patriotic party procured the subscriptions of 
many of the inhabitants to the following paper. 

* Whereas the Hon. House of Representatives of this province, on the 26th 
day of February last, did declare, that the happiness and well-being of civil 
communities depend upon industry, economy, and good morals, and taking 
into serious consideration the great decay of trade, the scarcity of money, the 
heavy debt contracted in the late war, which still remains on the people, and 
the great difficulties to which they are by these means reduced, did resolve, to 
use their utmost endeavors, and enforce their endeavors by example, in sup- 
pressing extravagance, idleness, and vice, and promoting industry, economy, 
and good morals : and in order to prevent the unnecessary exportation of 
money, of which the province hath, of late, been drained, did further resolve, 
that they would, by all prudent means, endeavor to discountenance the use of 
foreign superfluities, and encourage the manufactures of this province ; and 
whereas, the Parliament of Great Britian has passed an act imposing duties 

1 Brigadier Euggles alone opposed the passage of these resolutions. His reasons for 
dissenting were offered in -writing, but it was voted that they should not be entered on 
the journal. His objections to the encouragement of manufactures were these : 

1. Because in all countries manufactures are set up at the expense of husbandry, or 
other general employment of the people, and if they have not peculiar advantages over 
husbandry, they will, by discouraging the latter, have an injurious effect, 

2. That manufactures here must encounter insurmountable obstacles from the thin 
population and high price of labor : and would be detrimental, by taking hands away 
from agriculture and the fisheries. 

Other objections were deduced from tlie colonial relation of the province and the mother 
country, and the injury which might result to the interests of England. 

2 One of the earliest woolen manufactories of Massachusetts is thus noticed in the Bos- 
ton Evening Post, October 10, 1768. 

' We hear from Brookfield, that Mr. Joshua Upkam of that town, a gentleman in the 
law, and his two brothers, with a number of other gentlemen, have lately erected a build- 
ing oO feet in length and two stories high, for a manufactory house, and are collecting 
tradesmen of several sorts for the woolen manufactory, and they propose to keep a larga 
number of looms constantly at work. 


70 TEA. [1768. 

on sundry articles for the purpose of raising a revenue on America, which is 
unconstitutional, and an infringement of our just rights and privileges ; and 
the merchants of this province have generally come into an agreement not to 
import goods from Great Britain, a few articles excepted, till that act is 
repealed ; which in our opinion is a lav.'ful and prudent measure : therefore, 
Ave the subscribers, do solemnly promise and engage, each with the other, to 
to give all possible encouragement to our own manufactures : to avoid pay- 
ing the tax imposed by said act, by not buying any European commodity but 
what is absolutely necessary ; that we Avill not, at funerals, use any gloves 
except those made here, or purchase any article of mourning on such occa- 
sion, but what shall be absolutely necessary ; and we consent to abandon the 
use, so far as may be, not only of all the articles mentioned in the Boston 
resolves, but of all foreign teas, which are clearly superfluous, our own fields 
abounding in herbs more healthful, and which Ave doubt not, may, by use, be 
found agreeable : Ave further promise and engage, that we will not purchase 
any goods of any persons Avho, preferring their OAvn interest to that of the 
public, shall import merchandize from Great Britain, until a general impor- 
tation takes place ; or of any trader Avho purchases his goods of such 
importer : and that Ave Avill hold no intercourse, or connection, or correspond- 
ence, Avith any person Avho shall purchase goods of such importer, or retailer ; 
and Ave Avill hold him dishonored, an enemy to the liberties of his country, 
and infamous, Avho shall break this agreement.' 

The execution of resolutions against tea, required the aid of those to 
whose care the fragrant herb Avas entrusted in the household. A female con- 
vention assembled in Boston, and agreed to discontinue the use of the taxed 
leaf and substitute a native shrub,-' an inhabitant of our meadows. In imi- 
tation of this example, a meeting Avas held here by the patriotic ladies, Avho 
cordially concurred with the good resolutions of their sisters of the metropolis. 
The royalists, Avho loved their tea and their king, and Avere equally averse to 
the desertion of the social urn or the sovereign, had influence enough to 
convene another assembly, and procure the reconsideration of its approbation 
of the American plant, and a renewal of allegiance to the exotic of India. 

A paragraph in the Boston Evening Post, alludes to the doings of the fair 

• Worcester, Nov. 11, 1768. We hear that the ladies have discovered the 
most malignant quality in the Labrador tea, Avhich, by vote of the daughters 
of liberty within the metropolis, Avas substituted, to be used in the room of 
the Indian shrub called Bohea : that they find it to be of so debilitating a 
quality, and that it produces such a total frigidity in their warmest friends of 
the other sex, that at a later convention, to deliberate on matters of the great- 
est consequence, it was agreed, by a majority greater than that of 92 to 17,^ 
to rescind their former vote in favor of the detested plant, as being clearly 

1 Ledum Palustre, Labrador Tea. 
2 Alluding to the vote on the question of rescinding the resolutions of the House of 

1773.] EESOLUTIONS. 71 

unconstitutional, and tending to rob us of our dearest privileges and deprive 
us of our most sacred and invaluable rights. 

As the nonconsumption agreement prevented the sale by the merchants of 
the obnoxious article, the gardens and fields were laid under contributions to 
supply the table urn. The cup was filled with odoriferous infusions of Mint 
and Sage, and those who ventured to acknowledge the abstract right of tax- 
ation, by the use of tea, indulged in the luxury, as if they were committing 
crime, with the utmost secresy, drawing bolt and bar, and closing every crev- 
ice which might betray the fragrance of the proscribed beverage. 

From this period to 1773, no doings of the inhabitants in their corporate 
capacity, mark the progress of the spirit of independence. The influence of 
the royalists prevented public expression of the high-toned patriotism radi- 
ated from the metropolis to every village, and growing day by day more fervid 
and intense. 

A petition of Othniel Taylor and forty others, called the attention of the 
town, at the annual meeting in March, 1773, to the grievances under which 
the province labored. After debate, the celebrated Boston Pamphlet was 
read. A committee was appointed ^ to consider its contents, who presented 
an elaborate report at the adjournment in May following. Going back to the 
foundation of civil society, they deduce the principles, that mankind are by 
nature free, and that the end and design of forming the social compact was, 
that each member of the state might enjoy liberty and property, and the 
unrestrained exercise of civil and religious rights. Tracing the history of 
the pilgrims, they derive illustrations of the sacredness of the charter, 
plighted by royal faith. Appealing to the long series of services rendered by 
the province as testimonials of fidelity, they declare, ' the fond aff'ection that 
ever has subsisted in our hearts for Great Britain and its sovereign, has ever 
induced us, to esteem it above any other country, and as fond children speak 
of a father's house we have ever called it our home, and always [have been 
ready to] rejoice, when they rejoiced, to weep when they have wept, and 
wheiiever required, to bleed when they have bled ; and in return, we are 
sorry to say, we have had our harbors filled with ships of war, in a hostile 
manner, and troops posted in our metropolis, in a time of profound peace : 
not ocly posted [in a manner] greatly insulting, but actually slaughtering the 
inhabitants : cannon levelled against our senate house, the fortress or key of 
the province taken from us : and as an addition to our distress, the com- 
mander in chief of the province [has declared] he had not power to control 
the troops, &c. Nevertheless we are ready and willing to stand forth in 
defence of the king of Great Britain, his crown and dignity, and our noble 
constitution, and, when called to it, risk our lives ; and in that day let him 
that hath no sword, sell his garment and buy one.' 

It was recommended ' that there be a committee of correspondence chosen, 
to correspond with the committees of correspondence in the other towns in 
this province, to give the earliest intelligence to the inhabitants of this town, 

1 William Young, David Bancroft, Samuel Curtis, Timothy Bigelow, Stephen Salisbury; 


of any designs that they shall discover, at any time, against our natural and 
constitutional rights.' 

The recommendations of the report were adopted, and William Yoimg, 
Timothy Bigelow, and John Smith, were elected a committee of correspondence. 

The spirit of discontent, repressed in public, was actively working in the 
minds of men, and the doctrine of resistance, branded by one party as the 
theory of treason, preparing the way for events the brightest of history. In 
the peculiar situation of the town, an efficient and firm union among the 
friends of freedom was necessary. On the 27th of December, 1773, the 
leading whigs assembled, and formed a Society, which became a powerful 
instrument of revolutionary action, directing the proceedings of the town, 
and extending a controling influence to some of its neighbors. Its organiz- 
ation and doings, illustrative of the feeling of the times and the mode of 
political operation, are worthy of extended notice. 

The constitution and rules of proceeding, reported by Nathan Baldwin, 
Samuel Curtis and Timothy Bigelow, exhibit the purposes of the association. 
The former recites, ' that at the then present time the good people of the 
county, and with respect to some particular circumstances, the town of Wor- 
cester especially, labor under many impositions and burdens grievous to be 
borne, which, it is apprehended, could never have been imposed upon us had 
we been united and opposed the machinations of some designing persons in 
this province, who are grasping at power and the property of their neigh- 
bors : for preventing these evils and better securing liberty and property, and 
counteracting the designs of enemies, the associates incorporate them- 
selves into a society, by the name of The American Political Society, to meet 
at some public house, at least once in every other month, to advise with each 
other on proper methods to be pursued respecting common rights and liberties, 
civil and religious.' The members covenanted, that no discourse or transac- 
tion in any of the meetings should be communicated to any person without 
common consent ; that they would avoid all lawsuits as much as possible, 
and particularly with each other : and if differences should arise between 
members, which they were unable to adjust, they should be referred to the 
determination of the society ; that each would, as he had opportunity, pro- 
mote the interest of the other, in all honest ways within his power, without 
injury to himself; and that each member would give information in the meet- 
ings, of any infringement of the common rights of mankind which might 
come to his knowledge. Penalties were established for absence, provision 
made for regular monthly meetings, the elections, admissions, and order of 
debate, usual in similar associations. It is expressed, ' that each particular 
member, reposing special trust and confidence in every other member of the 
society, looks upon himself bound, and does bind himself, by the ties of 
honor, virtue, truth, sincerity, and every appellation dear to him in this life, 
faithfully and truly to keep and perform its articles.' Thirty one persons 
were original subscribers, and thirty two others were, from time to time, 
admitted, making the whole number of members during the two years of its 
existence sixty three. 


The objects of the society, as expressed in its constitution, were extensive. 
The associates, practically, limited their views to the circle of their own cor- 
poration, and instead of proceeding in the task of reforming the world, con- 
fined their exertions to secure the rights of that portion of mankind in their 
own neighborhood. They erected themselves into a supreme authority, not 
only assuming advisory superintendence of local concerns, but claiming to 
direct in absolute terms. Sessions were held previous to the meetings of 
the inhabitants, and votes passed, afterwards confirmed by the town. To 
show how important was their agency, it will be necessary to anticipate the 
regular progress of the narrative, to examine their records. 

The first debate, Feb. 4, 1774, was had on the impropriety of choosing 
any person to office, who was not an open and professed friend to constitu- 
tional liberty. Feb. 25, the business of the society was, to agree on a plan 
of proceedings for March meeting. In April, it was voted ' that the chairman 
of the committee of correspondence be directed to send circular letters to the 
committees of correspondence in the several towns in the county, advising 
them that the votes for County Treasurer had not been counted by the Court 
of Sessions of the Peace, as had been usual, and of the danger consequent 
thereon, that the whole people of the county may be on tlieir guard against 
fraud and deception.' A committee was appointed to prepare instructions 
for the representative to be chosen in May following. 

Among the boldest of its acts, was its instruction to the Grand Jurors, to 
refuse being sworn if Judge Oliver was present at the Superior Court in 

The act of parliament for raising revenues, by taxation of the colonies, 
authorized appropriations from them, for the salaries of the judges of the 
Superior Court, rendering the judicial officers dependants of the crown. The 
Governor had refused his assent to legislative grants for their support, and the 
Representatives remonstrated with spirit, against the invasion of charter 
rights. After ineffectual negociations with Mr. Hutchinson, the inflexible 
assertor of royal prerogative, at the termination of the first session of 1773, 
it was resolved ' that any of the judges, who, while they hold their offices 
during pleasure, shall accept support from the crown, independent of the 
grants of the General Court, will discover, that he is an enemy to the consti- 
tution, and has it in his heart to promote the establishment of arbitrary gov- 
ernment.' In Feb. 1774, four of the judges, Trowbridge, Hutchinson, Ropes, 
and Gushing, on the appeal being made by the Assembly, replied that they 
had received no part of the allowance from the king ; which was deemed sat- 
isfactory. Chief Justice Oliver alone, dared to brave popular sentiment, and 
answered that he had accepted his Majesty's bounty, and could not refuse it ia 
future, without royal permission. The concentrated weight of indignation 
fell upon him. The House immediately voted that he had rendered himself 
obnoxious to the people as an enemy of the constitution, A petition was 
presented for his removal, and articles of impeachment for high crimes and 
misdemeanors exhibited, which the Governor refused to countenance. 

Such was the relation of Peter Oliver to the people, when the term of the 

74 GEAND juky's addeess. [1774. 

Superior Court for the county of Worcester drew near. The political society, 
as guardians of popular rights, took the subject into consideration. After 
much treasonable debate, as the expression of opinions which would have en- 
dangered life, might be termed by those who could have claimed its forfeiture, 
the determination was expressed in the following vote, unanimously adopted, 
April 4. 

' This society will each one bear and pay their equal part of the fine and 
charges that may be laid on Messrs. Joshua Bigelow and Timothy Bigelow, 
for their refusal to be empanneled upon the Grand Jury at our next Superior 
Court of Assize, for the county of Worcester, if they shall be chosen into that 
office, and their refusal is founded upon the principle, that they cannot, con- 
sistently with good conscience and order, serve, if Peter Oliver, Esq., is pres- 
ent on the bench as chief justice, or judge of said court, before he is lawfully 
tried and acquitted from the high crimes and charges for which he now stands 
impeached by the honorable House of Representatives, and the major part of 
the grand jurors for the whole county join them in refusing to serve for the 
reasons aforesaid.' 

So little apprehension was entertained of the concurrence of their fellows, 
or of the return of the two gentlemen named, that they were provided with a 
remonstrance for presentation to the court. The exact circumstances, mod- 
estly designated as contingent and conditional, were made certain by the influ- 
ence and exertions of the society. Messrs. Joshua Bigelow and Timothy 
Bigelow were chosen, and the majority of the jurors did join with them at 
the opening of the court in ofi'ering this paper, April 19, 1774. 

' To the honorable, his majesty's justices of the Superior Court of Judica- 
ture now sitting at Worcester, in and for said county. 

We, the subscribers, being returned by our respective towns to serve as 
jurors of inquest for this court, beg leave humbly to inform your honors, that 
it is agreeable to the sense of those we represent, that we should not empannel, 
or be sworn into this important office, provided Peter Oliver, Esq., sits as 
chief justice of this court; and we would further add, that our own senti- 
ments coincide perfectly with those of our constituents respecting this matter ; 
so, to whatever inconven ence we expose ourselves, we are firmly resolved not 
to empannel, unless we are first assured that the above gentleman will not act 
as a judge in this court, for the following reasons : 

1. Because the honorable House of Commons of this province, at their last 
session, among other things, resolved, that Peter Oliver, Esq., hath, by his 
conduct, rendered himself totally disqualified any longer to hold and act in 
the office of a justice of this court, and ought, forthwith, to be removed 

2. Because the House of Commons, in their said session, did impeach the 
said Peter Oliver, Esq., of high crimes and misdemeanors; the particulars of 
which impeachment, we apprehend, are known to your honors, which will 
excuse us from reciting them at large ; to which impeachment the said Peter 
Oliver, Esq., hath not been yet brought to answer ; and therefore, we appre 
tend, that the veniri bearing test, Peter Oliver, Esq., is illegal. 



But, if we should be mistaken, nevertheless, we remonstrate and protest, 
against the said Peter Oliver, Esq., acting as judge on any of the bills we may 
find at this session, unless he is constitutionally acquitted of said impeach- 
ment : because, we apprehend it would be highly injurious, to subject a fellow 
countryman to trial at a bar, where one of the judges is not only disqualified 
as aforesaid, but, by his own confession, stands convicted, in the minds of the 
people, of a crime more heinous, in all probability, than any that might come 
before him. These, with other reasons that might be offered, we hope your 
honors will esteem sufficient to justify us for presenting the foregoing remon- 

Joshua Bigelow, John Fuller, William Henshaw, 

Thomas Robinson, John Tyler, Nathaniel Carriel, 

Phinehas Heywood, Daniel Clapp, Moses Livermore, 

Nathan Walker, Silas Bayley, Timothy Bigelow, 

Ephraim Doolittle, John Sherman, William Campbell. 

After consultation, this paper was received by the court, and publicly read 
by the clerk. One of the judges then informed the jurors, that it was alto- 
gether improbable that the Chief Justice would attend to take his seat :^ and 
being assured that the sheriff had, as usual, been a number of miles out of 
town, in order to meet and escort him to his lodgings, and had returned with- 
out him, the jurors retired to determine what course to pursue. On consid- 
ering the personal and public inconvenience resulting from their refusal to 
proceed to business, and finding no sacrifice of principle from compliance, they 
returned, were sworn, and received the charge. 

1 Judge Oliver, in a letter to Gov. Hutchinson, May 15, 1774, published in Edes' Gazette, 
Sept. 18, 1776, expresses his anger at the conduct of his associates of the bench in strong 

' As to the affair of the Grand Jury's libel at Worcester court, I did not know of their 
conduct until I saw it in the newspapers ; and had any of my brethren been charged in so 
infamous a manner, I would forever have quitted the bench, rather than have suffered such 
indignity to them to have passed unnoticed. How it is possible to let a brother judge, a 
friend, or even a brute, be treated in so ignominious a manner, I have no conception in my 
ideas of humanity. But so it is : and if the Supreme Courtis content with such rudeness, 
inferior jurisdictions are to be exculpated in suffering the commonwealth to be destroyed.' 

Oliver sought consolation under popular odium, from the sympathy of the representative 
of the king, without communicating to his associates the indignation breathing in his let- 
ter. The existence of this document seems to have remained unknown to his judicial 
brethren, long after the publication. Judge Trowbridge, in a letter to the late Levi Lin- 
coln, Dec. 27, 1780, says, ' this letter was wrote by Chief Justice Oliver, as I suppose, to 
the governor, at the castle ; and the court referred to, must be 'the Superior Court at Wor- 
cester, on the third Tuesday of September, 1773 ; for the chief justice was not at that 
court. I don't know that I ever saw what he calls the libel. I can't find it in Edes & Gill's 
Gazette printed that year, and therefore conclude it was published in the Spy, soon after 
the court. I hear Mr. Thomas lives in Worcester, and suppose he has those papers by him. 
If you would be kind enough to know of him, if he printed the account of the proceeding 
which, I suppose, the judge calls a libel, and favor me with a copy thereof, you will much 
oblige me. 

• I was at Judge GllTer'fl house, on May 15, 1774, (the day of the date of his letter) : 
but he never said a word to me about that matter, as I remember ; which I think he might 
tave done, before he wrote that letter to the governor.' 

76 POIilTICAL SOCIETY. [1774. 

It is said to have been resolved by the Society, that they would rescue the 
jurors by force, if they should be committed for contempt, in presenting the 
chief justice to the court as a criminal. No written evidence of such pur- 
pose can be supposed to exist, and the removal of the difficulty, threatening 
interruption of the administration of justice, fortunately prevented more sol- 
emn testimony from being furnished. 

At the monthly meeting in June, it was voted to sign a covenant, not to 
purchase any English goods, until the port of Boston was opened, and to dis- 
continue intercourse with those declining to subscribe. A committee was ap- 
pointed to prepare an instrument for this purpose, and obtain the signatures 
of the citizens, and to draft a similar agreement to be signed by the women. 

In August, it was voted, ' that Nathan Perry be moderator of our next 
town meeting, if he should be chosen : in case he should refuse, then Josiah 
Pierce shall preside.' 

The selectmen were directed, forthwith, to examine the town's stock of 
ammunition, and ascertain its quality and quantity. 

A committee was chosen to present to the inhabitants an obligation to be 
completely armed, and to enforce its execution. 

Sept. 5. A committee was commissioned ' to inspect the tories going to 
and coming from Lancaster, or any other way,' and it was subsequently en- 
tered of record, that it was contrary to the mind of the society that the tories 
should vote in town meeting. 

Oct. 3. The instructions to be reported at the next town meeting for the 
representatives in the Provincial Congress and General Court, were read, par- 
agraph by paragraph, and accepted. 

A respectable merchant of the town was summoned before the association, 
to exhibit the certificate of an oath not to purchase English goods, made by 
Artemas Ward, Esq., afterwards General in the Continental Army. The 
form not being considered satisfactory, a new oath was required and taken. 

We have traced the society far enough in the detail of its acts, to show the 
control it assumed and exercised over committees of correspondence, the grand 
jury, the town, its selectmen and citizens. 

Its career is interesting, as indicating the spring by whose impulse the com- 
plex machinery was moved, and as illustrative of the manner in which the 
government of opinion acted on the people, when the authority of the estab- 
lished officers tottered, the tribunals of justice were silent, and self-constitu- 
ted magistracies took the guardianship of the general welfare, and the lead in 
the municipal republics. 

It remains only to notice the dissolution of this remarkable body. Many 
of the members having been called into the military service of the country, 
much of its energy was lost. In 1776, it is stated, that unhappy differences 
had arisen and divisions grown up in the town. It was voted, to institute an 
enquiry into their origin, and endeavor to suppress contention and reestab- 
lish harmony. Each member was desired to give intelligence of misbehavior, 
and answer truly and fully to any question proposed by a committee, formed 
from both parties, to investigate the causes of the difficulty. It was resolved, 


* that the society, in its corporate capacity, should pass no votes relative to 
the choice of town or public officers, or for the management of town meetings, 
until a report was made and acted on.' 

The committee, composed of discordant materials, was unable to effect a 
compromise. The last meetings of the Society appear to have been passed in 
unavailing struggles to prolong its existence, in jealous rivalship of the com- 
mittees of correspondence and safety, who had wrested away its power, and 
in stormy discussion of the deviations from the original principles of its con- 
stitution. It lingered until the first Monday of June, 1776, when, by mutual 
consent, it \vas suffered to expire, after a life of two years and a half. 

The struggle between the patriotism of the people and the loyalty of a 
minority, powerful in numbers, as well as in talents, wealth and influence, 
arrived to its crisis in this town early in 1774, and terminated in the total 
defeat of the adherents of the king. 

At the annual meeting, March 7, a committee'' was formed, to take into 
consideration the acts of the British Parliament for raising revenue from the 
colonies, who soon presented the following report, matured by the Society, 
whose acts we have noticed, which was accepted. 

* We, the freeholders and inhabitants of Worcester, think it our duty, at 
this important time, when afi'airs of the greatest consequence to ourselves and 
posterity are hastening to a crisis, after due consideration, to off'er our senti- 
ments on the many grievous impositions, which are laid upon us : we would 
particularize some of the most intolerable ones, viz. 

' 1. Courts of Admirality, wherein that most inestimable privilege, trial by 
jury, is destroyed : Boards of commissioners, with their numerous trains of 
dependents, which departments are generally filled with those who have 
proved themselves to be destitute of honor, honesty, or the common feelings 
of humanity ; those who are known to be the greatest enemies of the people 
and constitution of this country, even those who have murdered its inhabi- 
tants. For a recent instance of their consummate insolence, and of their 
barbarously harassing the subject from port to port, at the expense of time 
and money, and unjustly detaining property, we would mention the case of 
Capt. Walker, commander of the Brigantine Brothers. 

' 2. The Governor and Judges of the Superior Court, rendered independent 
of the people of the province, for whose good only they were appointed, for 
which service they ought to depend on those they serve for pay : and, we are 
constrained to say, that to have these who are to determine and judge on our 
lives [and] property paid by a foreign state, immediately destroys that natural 
dependence which ought to subsist between a people and their officers, and 
[is,] of course, destructive of liberty. For which reason, we are of opinion, 
that we [are] not in the least bound in duty submit to the ordering and de- 
termining of such officers as are not dependent on the grants of the people 
for their pay, and we have the satisfaction to hear that four of the supeiior 
judges, to their immortal honor, have refused the bribe ofi'ered them. 

1 William Young, Josiah Pierce, Timothy Bigelow. 

76 EESOLtTTIONS. [1774. 

* But, as we have had an opportunity heretofore, jointly, to express our 
minds respecting our many grievances, we, principally, shall confine our ob- 
servations to the East India company's exporting teas to America, subject to 
a duty laid thereon by the British Parliament, to be paid by us, not so much 
as mentioned for the regulation of trade, but for the sole purpose of raising a 
revenue : in consequence of which, we take it upon us to say, that it is an 
addition to the many proofs, that the British ministry are determined, if pos- 
sible, to enslave us : but, we rest assured, that however attached we may 
have been to that truly detestable herb, we can firmly resist the charm, and 
thereby convince our enemies in Great Britain and America, that however 
artful and alluring their snares, and gilded the bait, we have wisdom to fore- 
see and virtue to resist. 

* Therefore, resolved ; that we will not buy, sell, use, or any way be con- 
cerned with India teas of any kind, dutied or undutied, imported from Great 
Britain, Holland, or elsewhere, until the unrighteous act imposing a duty 
thereon be repealed ; the former on account of the aforesaid duty ; the latter, 
because vpe still maintain such a regard for Great Britain as to be unwilling 
to promote the interests of a rival. 

' Resolved ; that we will break off" all commercial intercourse with those 
persons, if any there should be, in this or any other place, who should act 
counter to these, our resolutions, thus publicly made known : that the tea 
consignees, and all those that have been aiding or assisting in introducing the 
East Iiidia company's tea among us, have justly merited our indignation and 
contempt, and must be considered, and treated by us, as enemies and traitors 
to their country : that we contemptuously abhor and detest all those, whether 
in Great Britain or America, that are not content with their own honest in- 
dustry, but contrary to known principles of justice and equity, attempt to 
take the property of others in any wise without their consent. 

' Resolved ; that we have an indisputable right, at this time, and at all 
times, boldly to assert our rights, and make known our grievances ; being 
sensible that the freedom of speech and security of property always go 
together. None but the base tyrant and his wicked tools dread this liberty. 
Upright measures will always defend themselves. It is not only our indubita- 
ble right, but a requisite duty, in this legal and public manner, to make 
known our grievances. Amongst the many benefits that will naturally result 
therefrom, [will be"| we hope, that important one of undeceiving our gra- 
cious sovereign, who from the wicked measures practiced against us, we have 
just reason to suppose, has been artfully deluded; in defence of whose 
sacred person, crown and dignity, together with our natural and constitutional 
rights, we are ready, at all times, boldly to risk our lives and fortunes.' 

Twenty-six of the royalists dissented from these resolutions, and their pro- 
test was entered of record, although rejected by the town. 

Mr. Joshua Bigelow was chosen representative, with the following instruc- 
tions,^ May 20, 1774. 

1 The committee who reported these instructions, were Josiah Pierce, Timothy Bigelow, 

1774.] INSTRUCTIONS. 79 

* As English America is in a general alarm, in consequence of some late 
unconstitutional stretches of power, we are sensible this is the most difficult 
period that hath ever yet commenced since the first arrival of our ancestors 
into this then unexplored, uncultivated and inhospitable wilderness : and be- 
ing fully sensible that the wisest head, uprightest heart, and the firmest reso- 
lution, are the necessary qualifications of the person fit and suitable to rep- 
resent us in the Great and General Court of this Province the present year, 
[we] have honored you with our suffrages for that important office. Not- 
withstanding our confidence in your virtue and abilities, we think it necessary 
to prescribe some certain rules for your conduct. And first : as there is a late 
act of the British Parliament, to be enforced in America, with troops and ships 
of war [on] the first [day] of June, in order to stop the port and harbor of Bos- 
ton, thereby depriving us of the winds and seas, which God and nature gave 
in common to mankind, we are induced to believe that [the ministers] of Great 
Britain, through misinformation, are led to a prostitution of that power which 
has heretofore made Europe tremble, to abridge us, their brethren in this 
province, of our natural and civil rights, notwithstanding, exclusive of our 
natural rights, we had all the privileges and immunities of Englishmen con- 
firmed to us by our royal charter. And as we view this hostile manoeuvre of 
Great Britain as a blow aimed, through Boston, at the whole of American 
liberties, being emboldened through a consciousness of the justice of our 
cause, we, in the most solemn manner, direct you, that whatever measure 
Great Britain may take to distress us, you be not in the least intimidated, 
and thereby induced, that whatever requisitions, or ministerial mandate there 
may be, in order to subject us to any unconstitutional acts of the British Par- 
liament, to comply therewith. But to the utmost of your power, resist the 
most distant approaches of slavery. But more particularly, should the peo- 
ple of this province, through their representatives, be required to compensate 
the East India company for the loss of their tea, we hereby lay the strictest 
injunction on you not to comply therewith. As the destruction of the tea 
was not a public act, we cannot see the justice of a public demand., As the 
civil law is open to punish the offenders, we rather think, instead of an equit- 
able compensation, it would be the means of encouraging riots and robberies, 
and, of consequence, render the courts of justice of no use. 

' We also earnestly require that a strict union of the colonies be one of 
the first objects in your view, and that you carefully and immediately pursue 
every legal measure that may tend thereto ; viz. that committees of corespon- 
dence be kept up between the several houses of assembly through the colo- 
nies ; and that you by no means fail to use your utmost endeavors, that there 
be a general Congress formed of deputies from the same : that so we may 
unite in some safe and sure plan, to secure and defend the American liberties, 
at this important crisis of affairs. 

' Also we direct you, as soon as may be, to endeavor that Peter Oliver, 

Stephen Salisbury, Samuel Curtis, Edward Crafts, John Kelso, and Joshua Whitney. They 
had been prepared by Mr. Nathan Baldwin, the ablest writer of the party here, and ma- 
tured by the political society. 


Esq. be brought to answer to the impeachment against him, preferred by the 
Representatives of this province, in the name of the whole people. 

' There are a number of other matters respecting the internal policy of this 
province, that, in our opinion, at this season, require the attention of the leg- 
islator : but, at a time like this, when Britain in return for the blood we 
have, on every needful occasion, so freely shed in her cause, has reduced thou- 
sands, through a wanton exercise of power, in our metropolis, to the most 
[distressing] circumstances, which, at first view, is sufficient to excite in the 
human breast every tender and compassionate feeling, [this] is enough to en- 
gross your whole attention. Should other matters come under your consider- 
ation in the course of the present year, relative to the common and ordinary 
exigencies of government, we make not the least doubt, you will, on your part, 
make the peace and prosperity of the whole province your ultimate aim and 
end, and by that means honor yourself and us, your constituents, in the 
choice we have made.' 

Language so strong and decided, could not but be offensive to the royalists. 
The acceptance was strenuously opposed ; Col. Putnam, the distinguished 
counsellor, exerting the whole force of his eloquence to prevent the coopera- 
tion of the" town in acts of rebellion, but without success. Thus defeated, 
measures were taken to procure the reconsideration of the votes. A petition, 
signed by 43 freeholders, was presented to the selectmen, requesting them to 
issue their warrant for a meeting, in the expectation, by concentrating the 
whole strength of the opposition, that the early efforts of freedom could be 

A meeting called in conformity with the prayer of the pet'.tion, which is 
recited at length in the warrant of the selectmen, was held on the 20th of 
June. After long and violent debate, the whigs prevailed, and it was voted 
not to act, in any manner, on any of the matters contained in the petition. 
Nothing remained to the defeated party but the right of protesting. A spir- 
ited and most loyal paper was offered and refused. The Town Clerk, influ- 
enced more by feeling than prudence, entered a copy on the records, afterwards 
sent to Boston for publication. This production is one of the boldest and 
most indignant remonstrances of the friends of royal government among the 
productions of the time. It is inserted in the Boston Gazette, printed on the 
4th of July, 1774. The entry on the record was afterwards entirely oblit- 

' At a meeting of the inhabitants of the town of Worcester, held there on 
the 20th day of June, A. D. 1774, pursuant to an application made to the 
selectmen by 43 voters and freeholders of the same town, dated the 20th day 
of May last, therein, among other things, declaring their just apprehensions 
of the fatal consequences that may follow the many riotous and seditious ac- 
tions that have of late times been done and perpetrated in divers places with- 
in this province : the votes and proceedings of which meeting are by us 
deemed irregular and arbitrary : 

* Wherefore we, some of us who were petitioners for the said meeting, and 


others inhabitants of the town, hereunto subscribing, thinking it our indis- 
pensable duty, in these times of discord and confusion in too many of the 
towns within this province, to bear testimony in the most open and unreserved 
manner against all riotous, disorderly and seditious practices, must therefore 
now declare, that it is with the deepest concern for public peace and order 
that we behold so many, whom we used to esteem sober, peaceable men, so 
far deceived, deluded and led astray by the artful, crafty and insidious prac- 
tices of some evil-minded and ill-disposed persons, who, under the disguise 
of patriotism, and falsely styling themselves the friends of liberty, some of 
them neglecting their own proper business and occupation, in which they 
ought to be employed for the support of their families, spending their time 
in discoursing of matters they do not understand, raising and propagating 
falsehoods and calumnies of those men they look up to with envy, and on 
whose fall and ruin they wish to rise, intend to reduce all things to a state of 
tumult, discord and confusion : 

' And in pursuance of those evil purposes and practices, they have imposed 
on the understanding of some, corrupted the principles of others, and distrac- 
ted the minds of many, who, under the influence of this delusion, have been 
tempted to act a part that may prove, and that has already proved, extremely 
prejudicial to the province, and as it may be, fatal to themselves ; bringing 
into real danger, and in many instances destroying, that liberty and property 
we all hold sacred, and which they vainly and impiously boast of defending 
at the expense of their blood and treasure : 

' And, as it appears to us, that many of this town seem to be led aside by 
strange opinions, and are prevented coming to such prudent votes and resolu- 
tions as might be for the general good and the advantage of this town in par- 
ticular, agreeably to the request of the petitioners for this meeting : 

' And as the town has refused to dismiss the persons styling themselves the 
committee of correspondence for the town, and has also refused so much as 
to call on them to render an account of their past dark and pernicious pro- 
ceedings : 

' We therefore, whose names are hereunto subscribed, do each of us declare 
and protest, it is our firm opinion, that the committees of correspondence in 
the several towns of this province, being creatures of modern invention, and 
constituted as they be, are a legal grievance, having no legal foundation, con- 
trived by a junto to serve particular designs and purposes of their own, and 
that they, as they have been and are now managed in this town, are a nui- 
sance : And we fear, it is in a great measure owing to the baneful influence of 
such committees, that the teas of immense value, lately belonging to the East 
India company, were, not long since, scandalously destroyed in Boston, and 
that many other enormous acts of violence and oppression have been perpe- 
trated, whereby the lives of many honest, worthy persons, have been endan- 
gered, and their property destroyed. 

* It is by these committees also, that papers have been lately published and 
are now circulating through the province, inviting, and wickedly tempting, all 
persons to join them, fully implying, if not expressly denouncing the destruc- 

82 EESOLUTIONS. [1774. 

tion of all that refuse to subscribe those unlawful combinations, tending di- 
rectly to sedition, civil war, and rebellion. 

' These, and all such enormities, we detest and abhor : and the authors of 
them we esteem enemies to our king and country, violators of all law and 
civil liberty, the malevolent disturbers of the peace of society, subverters of 
the established constitution, and enemies of mankind.' 

The whole number of voters of the town at this time could not have ex- 
ceeded two hundred and fifty. Fifty two inhabitants subscribed the protest. 

The first intimation received by the whigs, of the existence of sentiments 
80 loyal, on the same pages with the narrative of their own patriotic declara- 
tions, was derived from the publication. Immediately after its appearance, 
a petition was presented to the selectmen, describing the protest as a false 
and scandalous attack on the inhabitants, the committee, and their doings, 
charging the town clerk with a violation of his trust, and requesting them to 
convene a meeting to consider the subject. The town assembled on the 22d 
df August, and referred the matter to a Committee,^ to report at the adjourn- 
ment to the 24th. Before that time, many of the protesters, shrinking from 
the violence of the storm they had roused, and under the compulsion of 
force, sought safety by submission, and signed penitential confessions of error. 

When the people reassembled, the following counter statement and the 
accompanying resolutions were adopted. 

' Whereas, the publication in the Massachusetts Gazette of June 30, was 
made, as a protest of the signers of it against the proceedings of the town of 
Worcester, and contains in it a number of groundless reflections and aspersions 
against the inhabitants of the town, viz : it seems to be implied in the direc- 
'tion to the printer, published at the front of the protest, that the signers were 
the only persons in the town who were friends to truth, peace and order, and 
that they only were the persons, that had any just apprehensions of the ill 
consequences arising by mobs, riots, &c., and that all the rest of the inhabi- 
tants acted irregularly and arbitrarily ; notwithstanding the matters [voted] 
in said meeting were fairly considered : and that they were so destitute of un- 
derstanding as to be led astray, by evil minded persons, who were endeavoring 
to reduce all things to a state of disorder and confusion ; thereby making 
themselves the sole judges of what is rule and order, and what is not : and 
proceed to stigmatize the inhabitants as holding to such bad opinions, as to 
prevent the town's acting prudently and for the general good. It is also im- 
plied in the publication, that tbis town allows a number of persons in it, to 
assume the character of a committee of correspondence for the town, and to 
act darkly and perniciously with impunity, contrary to rule and good order, 
and in violation of the truth ; after, with unparalleled arrogance, representing 
themselves as the only friends to it, [they] assert that the town has refused 
to dismiss the persons styling themselves a committee of correspondence for 

1 The committee Tr»re Joshua Bigslow, Jonas Hubbard, Pavid Bancroft, Samuel Curtis, 
Jonathan Stoue, Benjamin Flagg, Josiah Pierce. 

1774.] ^tESOLUTIONS. o'6 

the town, when, setting aside the inconsistency of the town's dismissing per- 
sons who had arrogated the character of a committee, and consequently [were 
in fact] not chosen by the town, they well knew that the town had not been 
requested, either to dismiss persons styling themselves a committee, or those 
gentlemen so denominated by the town : neither was there an article in the 
warrant for calling said meeting, to dismiss any persons whatever from office, 
nor so much as proposed in the meeting. There is also a malignity cast upon 
committees of correspondence in general through the continent, and in partic- 
ular against the committee chosen by this town, without any reason assigned 
for the same but the opinion of the protesters, too slender a foundation to 
asperse the character of town officers upon, and [they] have endeavored to in- 
sinuate into the minds of the public, that the men of which committees of cor- 
respondence are composed through the province, are a parcel of unprincipled 
knaves, who are endeavoring to destroy the lives and property of the peacea- 
ble and well-disposed, and also alleging that it is by these committees that 
papers have been lately published, and [that they have] wickedly tempted all 
persons to sign them, which they call an unlawful combination, tending di- 
rectly to civil war and rebellion. This town knows of no such paper : if it 
be the non-consumption agreement, entered and entering into through this 
and the neighboring provinces, that is pointed at, we take it upon us to say, 
that we much approve of the same, that if strictly adhered to it will save our 
money, promote industry, frugality, and our own manufactures, and tend di- 
rectly to prevent civil war and rebellion. 

' After offering their opinions of mobs, riots, tumults and disorder, and the 
proceedings of the town, so cruelly and with such temerity, as shows them to 
be destitute of that humanity and christian charity which we in all duty owe 
one to the other, they brand all that do not join with them, with the charac- 
ters of enemies of the king and country, violators of all law and civil liberty, 
the malevolent disturbers of society, subverters of the established constitu- 
tion, and enemies to mankind. And as it appears by the said publication, 
that the same is recorded in the town book, notwithstanding the many asper- 
sions it contains against the people of this town, and without the liberty or 
knowledge of the town ; therefore, 

' Voted, that the town clerk do, in presence of the town, obliterate, erase, 
or otherwise deface the said recorded protest, and the names thereto sub- 
scribed, so that it may become utterly illegible and unintelligible. 

' Voted, that the method taken by the leaders, in protesting, and procuring 
a very considerable number to sign the protest who are not voters in the 
town, we think was a piece of low cunning, to deceive the public, and make 
their party appear more numerous and formidable than it was in reality. 

' Voted, that the signers of said protest, on some of whom the town hag 
conferred many favors, and consequently might expect their kindest and best 
services, be deemed unworthy of holding any town office or honor, until they 
have made satisfaction for their offence to the acceptance of the town, which 
ought to be made as public as the protest was. 

' Voted, that as it is highly needful that those of the signers who have not 

84 EESOLUTIONS. [1774. 

made satisfaction as aforesaid, should be known in future : it is therefore ne- 
cessary that their names should be inserted as follows, viz. 

James Putnam, Isaac Moore, Joshua Johnson, 

William Paine, John Walker. 

' Voted, that the following admonition be given to the town clerk : 
' Mr. Clark Chandler : Whereas, this town, at their annual meeting in March 
last, as well as for several years before, honored you by choosing you for their 
clerk, relying on your fidelity, that you would act for the honor of the town, 
and find themselves much disappointed, by your conduct in recording on the 
town book the scandalous protest of William Elder and others, filled with 
falsehood and reflections against the town, we have just reason to fear you was 
actuated in the matter by unjustifiable motives, and, at this time, exhort you 
to be more circumspect in the execution of [the duties of] your office, and 
never give this town the like trouble, of calling a town meeting again on 
euch an occasion. The town wish to see your behavior such as may restore 
you to their former good opinion of you. 

' Whereas, the committee of correspondence for this town willingly laid all 
their proceedings before the town, when requested, and it thereby appears, 
notwithstanding the ungenerous abuse heaped on them by the protesters, that 
they have acted with care, diligence and caution, therefore, voted, that the 
thanks of this town be given to the committee for their circumspection, and 
that they be directed to go on, with their [former] vigilance, in corresponding 
with the other committees of the several towns in this province.' 

These resolves were directed to be entered on record, and forwarded for pub- 
lication in the Massachusetts Gazette and Spy. They did not appear in the 
latter newsprint till Dec. 8. From an acknowledgment in the paper of Sept. 
13, it appears that the recantation of forty-three of the protesters had been 
received by the publisher, the late Isaiah Thomas, but was not inserted for 
want of room, nor was it afterwards placed in his columns. 

In pursuance of this vote, the clerk, in open town meeting, and in the pres- 
ence of the inhabitants, blotted out the obnoxious record, and the work of the 
pen in defacing its own traces not being satisfactory, his fingers were dipped in 
ink and drawn over the protest. The pages still remain in the town book, so 
utterly illegible as to bear full testimony of the fidelity of the recording offi- 
cer, in the execution of the singular and unwelcome duty of expunging, thus 
imposed upon him. 

The selectmen were appointed as a committee, to receive any articles of pro- 
visions the inhabitants should contribute, for the poor of the town of Boston. 

A committee ^ was raised, to offer the following covenant, for subscription, 
to the inhabitants of the town. 

' As the distresses of the people loudly call on [all] inhabitants of this 
province, to use their utmost efforts to free themselves from that bondage in- 

1 Aug. 22. Jonathan Stone, David Bancroft, Josiah Pierce, Jonathan Rice, David Chad- 


tended for them by the late acts of the British Parliament, and, as we appre- 
hend, nothing will better conduce to such purpose than the following agree- 
ment : we, whose names are hereunto subscribed, promise, we will not our- 
selves, or any for or under us, directly or indirectly, buy or cause to be 
bought, and as far as we are able by adyice and command, will prevent our 
children or servants from buying any article, except drugs and medicines, that 
may be imported into this, or any other province or colony on this continent, 
that was manufactured, or came from Great Britain or Ireland, or that may 
come from thence to the West Indies, or any where else, that may be import- 
ed into this, or any other colony or province on the continent, from and after 
the first day of September next, nor buy any article made or brought as afore- 
said of any person whatsoever, who shall not be furnished with an oath, in 
writing, taken before a magistrate in the town where they dwell, or that next 
adjoining, that the articles shewn Avere bona fide imported before the said first 
day of September ; and we, in the same manner as aforesaid, for ourselves, 
our children and servants, promise we will not buy of any chapman or pedler 
any articles whatever. These promises and agreements we religiously prom- 
ise to observe, in a sacred manner, until the port of Boston shall be opened 
as usual, the troops withdrawn, the castle restored, all revenue acts annulled, 
all pensions to governors, judges, &c., cease, and in one word, until the liber- 
ties of this people are restored, and so secured that every one may have legal 
security for the safety of his person and property, and again feel, and be, in 
the full enjoyment of those blessings which Ave are entitled to as men, and 
those rights and privileges which the charter of this province giA'es us right to 
expect, demand and strive for. And to determine Avhen this is done, the ma- 
jority of the signers then alive shall determine and be the judges.' 

This paper was not only subscribed, but a solemn oath for its performance 
was taken in the following form. 

' In the presence of the Great God, that Being Avho liveth forever and ever, 
who knoweth the secrets of all hearts, we acknowledge that the agreement 
here subscribed is our free act, and solemnly swear that we will, by His grace 
assisting us, strictly perform the same, in its true and literal meaning, withr 
out any equivocation or mental reservation. So help us God.' 

Oct. 25, A committee of inspection ^ was elected, to examine, from time to 
time, the merchants and traders of the town, and prevent their ofi"ering for 
sale any goods imported or purchased contrary to the spirit and intent of the 
* solemn league and covenant,' as it was styled. 

The system of coercive measures, adopted as A'indictive expedients for the 
punishment of past misdemeanors and the suppression of future opposition, 
had roused the free spirit of the country into intense action. The practical 
operation of the celebrated bills, following each other in rapid succession, for 
the imposition of duties, closing the port of Boston, altering the charter, cre- 

1 John Kelso, Nathan Baldwin, Ebenezer Lovell. 


ating officers of the crown independent of the people, transporting persons ac- 
cused for trial, prohibiting town meetings,^ and vesting the government of the 
province in the dependents of the king, aggravated the irritation and urged 
to acts of personal violence. The weight of public indignation fell on those 
appointed to offices under the new acts, and they were soon compelled to lay 
aside their obnoxious honors. 

Timothy Paine, Esq., had received a commission as one of the mandamus 
counsellors. High as was the personal regard and respect for the purity of 
private character of this gentleman, it Avas controlled by the political feeling 
of a period of excitement, and measures were taken to compel his resignation 
of a post, which was unwelcome to himself, but which he dared not refuse, 
when declining would have been construed as contempt of the authority of 
the king by whom it was conferred. The committee of correspondence sum- 
moned the friends of liberty in the neighboring towns to appear at Worces- 
ter, on the 22d of August. Companies, headed by their own officers, marched 
into the town in military order, but without arms, and formed in lines on the 
common before 7 o'clock of the morning. When leenforced by our own in- 
habitants the number exceeded three thousand men. A committee, of two 
or three persons from each company, was delegated to wait on Mr. Paine and 
demand his resignation as counsellor. The representatives proceeded to his 
residence, and easily effected their object. A declaration was prepared and 
subscribed by him, expressing his sense of obligation to his fellow citizens, 
reluctance to oppose their wishes, regret for having been qualified for the new 
office, and a solemn promise that he would never exercise its powers. The 
committee returned to their constituents, who had moved from the common 
and extended their lines through Main street, from the court house to the 
meeting house. The acknowledgment was considered satisfactory : but the 
confirmation was required in the presence of the whole body. A sub-com- 
mittee was commissioned to invite Mr. Paine's attendance. Requests from 
such a source were not to be declined, and he accompanied the gentlemen 
who delivered the message. 

The signers of the protest had been informed by the committee of corres- 
pondence, that apology for their opposition would be required from them. 
Forty three of them had met the evening previous to this visitation at the 
King's Arms tavern,^ and having subscribed an acknowledgment of error and 
repentance, and received an instrument purporting to restore them to favor, 
and ensuring protection, they had mixed in the crowd, unsuspicious of any 
act of insult. Those who appeared, were collected by the revolutionary 
magistrates, and on the arrival of Mr. Paine, were escorted through the ranks, 
halting at every few paces to listen to the reading of their several confessions 

1 The provision was in the Regulating Bill, that no town meetings should be held with- 
out permission in writing from the governor or lieutenant governor, after August 1, 1774, 
except the annual meeting in March, for the election of municipal officers, and that in 
May, for the choice of representatives. Gordon, i. 250. 

2 This tavern was then kept by Mrs. Sternes, with the royal arms as the sign. It stood 
on the site of the Worcester House. 

1774.] ALARM. 87 

of political transgression. Having thus passed in review, and suffered some 
wanton outrage of feeling, in addition to the humiliation of the procession, 
they were dismissed. 

The objects of assembling being accomplished, the majority of the conven- 
tion disbanded and retired to their homes. A party of about five hundred, 
with the VVorcester committee of correspondence, repaired to Rutland, to ask 
the resignation of Col. Murray, another of the new council. Before their 
arrival, they were joined by nearly a thousand men from the western towns. 
A committee visited his house, and being informed of his absence from home, 
reported the fact. This was voted unsatisfactory, and a most strict search 
was instituted. After convincing themselves of the truth of the representa- 
tion made by the family, they addressed a letter to Col. Murray, informing 
him that unless he published the resignation of his office in the Boston news- 
papers, before the 10th of September, they would wait on him again. 

Some of the royalists of Worcester, alarmed at these proceedings, and fear- 
ful of danger to themselves, when those who had been most respected were 
treated with indignity, retired to Stone House hill, within the boundary of 
Holden, with their arms, and made some additions to the natural defences of 
the situation they selected, which afterwards received the appellation of the 
Tory Fort. They carried such provisions as could conveniently be collected 
to this retreat, and derived some supplies from friends, expecting safety from 
concealment, rather than from capacity to resist storm or seige. They re- 
mained two or three weeks in their rocky fortress ; when their apprehensions 
had subsided, they returned. 

A band of the king's troops having made an excursion by night up the 
Mystic river, and carried ofi" a quantity of gunpowder deposited in the arsenal 
in the northwest part of Charlestown, the intelligence spread rapidly through 
the country, and was magnified as it went, into a report, that the soldiers on 
the neck had slain the inhabitants, and that the fleet and army were firing on 
Boston. The effect was electric. The bells rang out from the spires, beacon 
fires flamed from the hills : alarm guns echoed through the villages, and the 
people rose spontaneously on the summons. It is stated in the prints of the 
day, that before the next sun went down, 6000 men from the county of Wor- 
cester were on their way to fight or fall with their countrymen, if need were ; 
and the venerable Dr. Stiles records in his diary, that the succeeding morning 
would have shone on an array of 30,000 men, concentrated at the point of 
supposed danger, had not their movements been countermanded. The alarm 
reached Worcester in the afternoon. The committee of correspondence imme- 
diately despatched messengers with warrants to the military to assemble. 
The early part of the night was spent in changing pewter platters and leaden 
window frames into musket bullets, and in preparation for immediate engage- 
ment. As soon as these arrangements could be completed, a large company 
marched, and reached Shrewsbury, before the return of messengers from Bos- 
ton assured them their further advance was unnecessary. 

It has been supposed the occasion had been seized to try the temper of the 
people, and ascertain the extent and strength of the resolution of resistance. 


The highways, thronged with citizens bearing such weapons as the enthusiasm 
of the hour supplied, are described as presenting scenes the counterparts to 
the display of the military establishment of the Dutch dynasty of New York, 
so ingeniously delineated by its faithful annalist. ' There came men without 
officers and officers without men, long fowling pieces and short blunderbusses, 
muskets of all sorts and sizes, some without locks, others without stocks, and 
many without lock, stock, or barrel ; cartridge boxes, shot belts, powder horns, 
swords, hatchets, snickersees, crow bars, and broom sticks, all mingled togeth- 
er.' Yet such was the spirit animating the community, that men who had 
never seen the tents of the enemy, left the plough in the furrow and the sickle 
in the harvest, and went out, without discipline, equipments, or munitions, to 
encounter the trained veterans of foreign lands. Ample evidence was afford- 
ed of stern determination to meet even the terrible appeal to war, and a'pledge 
was given of the support every town might hope from its neighbors, in ex- 

One beneficial result from this excitement, was the admonition of the neces- 
sity of better preparation for the result which it was now apparent was hasten- 
ing. On the 4th of July, the Political society had subscribed to purchase two 
pounds of gunpowder for each of its members : and, in August, had voted a 
covenant for the signature of each citizen, to bind him to provide arms and 
ammunition. The company of minute men were enrolled, under the command 
of Capt. Timothy Bigelow, and met, each evening, after the labors of the day 
were past, for drill and martial exercise. Muskets were procured for their 
armament from Boston. Four cannon were purchased by the town, secretly 
conveyed out of the metropolis,-^ and mounted at an expense of £38. A train 
of artillery was organized under Capt. Edward Crafts. 

The purity of the administration of justice having been corrupted by the 
act of Parliament, it was resolved that its tribunals should be suspended. A 
body of about six thousand men assembled on the invitation of the commit- 
tee of correspondence, on the 6th of September, and blocked up the passage 
to the Court House. The Justices of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas 
were compelled to make a declaration in Avriting, that they would not attempt 
to exercise their authority, or appear officially, in opposition to the will of the 
people. The Court, thus interrupted, never resumed the exercise of its 
functions. A term was commenced, but immediately adjourned, without 
transacting business. No trials were had, or judgments rendered, until July, 
1776, when the courts were again opened under the new government. 

A convention of all the committees of correspondence, was held in Wor- 
cester, on the 21st day of September. This assembly assumed legislative 
powers, and in the interregnum of royal prerogative and constitutional 
authority, its orders were obeyed as laws. 

The first object which engaged the attention of this county congress, in 

i£2 12s. lOd. -were voted to Mr. Jonathan Rice, for his trouble and expenses in getting 
these cannon out of Boston ; £2 to Jonathan Stone for similar services : to Edward Knight, 
£1 63. 8d ; and t« William Dana and Samuel Whitney, £1 13s. 4d. each, for transportation 
from Brookline. 


considering the situation of public affairs, and devising measures for the com- 
mon safety, was the organization of the militia. It was voted and recom- 
mended, that all subordinate officers surrender up the commissions given by the 
royal governors, to their colonels, and those of higher rank publish their 
resignations in the newspapers. A new arrangement of the military force was 
directed to be made, by division into regiments : the first, to include Worces- 
ter, Leicester, Holden, Spencer and Paxton ; the primary elections of com- 
pany officers to be made by the soldiers : and those who should be chosen in 
this manner, to meet and designate the regimental staff. One third of the 
men, able to do duty, between the ages of eighteen and sixty, were to be en- 
rolled, formed into companies, and be ready to march at a menw^e's warning, 
and committees were to be elected to supply their wants should they be 
called to service. 

A standing committee of correspondence of the convention was formed, by 
the union of the committees of Worcester and Leicester, and the addition of 
Thomas Denny, Joseph Henshaw, and Joshua Bigelow, and authorized to call 
meetings, communicate with towns in the county, and persons abroad, and 
present subjects for consideration. 

Civil officers holding commissions in June, were directed to continue in the 
discharge of their duties, excepting Timothy Ruggles, John Murray, and 
James Putnam. 

It was voted, ' as the opinion of this body, that the sheriff do adjourn the 
Superior Court to be held this day, and that he retain such as are or may be 
committed as criminals in his custody, until they have a trial.' 

' Resolved : That as the ordinary courts of justice will be stayed, in conse- 
quence of the late arbitrary and oppressive acts of the British parliament, we 
would earnestly recommend to every inhabitant of this county, to pay his just 
debts as soon as possible, without dispute or litigation ; and if any disputes 
concerning debts or trespasses should arise, which cannot be settled by the 
parties, we recommend it to them, to submit all such causes to arbitration ; 
and if the parties, or either of them, shall refuse to do so, they ought to be 
considered as cooperating with the enemies of the country.' 

It was recommended to the several towns, to instruct their representatives, 
to refuse to be sworn by any officers except such as were constitutionally 
appointed : to decline acting with any others not conforming to the charter : 
and not to attend at Boston, while garrisoned with troops and invested by 
fleets : but should any thing prevent their acting with a governor and council 
appointed according to the charter, to repair to the town of Concord, and 
there join in a provincial Congress. 

The towns were requested to provide and mount field pieces, obtain proper 
ammunition, and put themselves in a posture of defence. Sheriff Chandler^ 
had presented an address from the Justices of the Court of Common Pleas, 
at its June session, congratulating Gen. Gage on his appointment as first 

1 The Court appointed Hon. Timothy Ruggles, John Chandler, Esq., James Putnam, 
Abel Willard, and Gardner Chandler, Esq'rs. to wait upon His Excellency Gen. Gage, and 
present this Address. It was delivered however by the Sheriff. 

90 SHERIFF CHANDXKxl. [1774. 

magistrate of the province, lamenting the disturbed condition of the times, 
bearing testimony against all riots, combinations, and unwarrantable resolves ; 
denouncing the circulation of inflammatory papers by order of certain persons, 
calling themselves a committee of correspondence for the town of Worcester, 
which they represent as stimulating the people to break off all connections 
with Great Britain, and having a tendency to alienate the affections of the 
people from the mother country, and to create discord and confusion ; con- 
cluding with the assurance of their exertions to discountenance such pro- 
ceedings, to support the execution of the laws, and render the administration 
successful and prosperous. The convention voted, ' to take notice of Mr. 
Sheriff Chandler, for carrying an address to Gov. Gage,' and appointed a com- 
mittee to wait on him and require his attendance. That gentleman presented 
himself before this remarkable body, whose jurisdiction seemed supreme, and 
with some hesitation subscribed the following declaration. 

' Whereas, the convention of committees have expressed their uneasiness 
to the sheriff of this county, now present before them, for presenting, with 
others, an address to Gov. Gage, he frankly declares it was precipitately done 
by him : that he is sorry for it, and disclaims an intention to do anything 
against the minds of the inhabitants of this county ; and had he known it 
would have given offence, he would not have presented that address. 

Gardner Chandler.' 

A copy of the resolves of the convention, certified by the clerk, Col. Wil- 
liam Henshaw, was published in the Massachusetts Spy.-^ 

Resolutions adopted at an earlier session were copied into the London Jour- 
nals, as evidence of the feelings of the people. The editor subjoined the 
significant inquiries, ' doth this look like submission ? doth it carry the faco 
of acquiescence ? ' 

The royalist party had long before been prostrated in this town. Most of 
the protesters had been induced to make submission. Some who refused, 
were waylaid and cruelly beaten. A few remained obstinate, and finally 
retired into exile. Others, unable to separate themselves from their friends 
and country, and to sacrifice all they held dear, were persecuted into com- 
pliance with the public will, and at length purchased safety for person and 
property by soliciting forgiveness in terms more humiliating in proportion to 

1 From the Massachusetts Spy of Sept. 15. ' We have received from Worcester, the 
recantation of John Chandler, Esq., and forty two others of the protesters against the pro- 
ceedings of that town, which gave such just cause of offence to the public ; as also the 
acknowledgment of six justices of that county, for having aspersed the people in an 
address to Gen. Gage. Want of room prevents their being inserted in this paper.' 

These recantations were extorted by a force too powerful to admit of refusal. Resist- 
ance would have been martyrdom. 

Some of the confessions, published in the prints of the day, are expressed with ludi- 
crous energy. For example : 

' Whereas, I, the subscriber, signed an address to the late Gov Hutchinson, I wish the 
Devil had had said address before I had seen it. Marblehead, Oct. 2-1, 1774. 

John Prentice.' 


the time it was deferred. The records of the town afford a specimen, Oct. 5, 
1774, of the self abasement of these tardy 'recantations.' 

' To the inhabitants of the town of Worcester : Gentlemen : Whereas, I, 
the subscriber, with a number of others, signed a protest, against the proceed- 
ings of the town, and the same was published in the Boston Gazette of June 
last, wherein the inhabitants were unjustly reflected upon in general, and also 
the whole body of committees of correspondence throughout this whole prov- 
ince, for which I am heartily sorry, and ask the forgiveness of all the inhabi- 
tants of the town, and the justly offended public, and also for any other 
offence that I may have given by any means, whether in word or action. I 
heartily request your acceptance of this sincere acknowledgment, and that if 
either of the inhabitants hath any other charge against me, for any particular 
of my conduct, that he would make it known, that I may have an opportuni- 
ty of giving christian satisfaction, which I ever shall stand ready to afiord. 
Witness my hand. William Campbell.' 

Joshua Bigelow was elected, Oct. 4, representative to the General Court, 
to be held in Salem, and Timothy Bigelow delegate to the provincial Congress, 
to assemble at Concord. The former was directed, not to recede from the 
most rigid virtue in recovering and defending the rights and liberties of the 
people ; to refuse to be sworn by any officer not appointed according to the 
charter, or to act with any branch of the legislature not constituted and sup- 
ported in conformity with its provisions : to decline attending in Boston, 
while it should be invested with armies and fleets ; and if prevented from 
acting with a constitutional Governor and Council, to repair to Concord, and 
join the provincial Congress. The instructions to the latter, require, that he 
should endeavor, in the most peaceable manner, to obtain redress of grievan- 
ces ; to procure the opening of the port of Boston ; restoration of free trade ; 
removal of the king's troops ; resignation of the command of the fortress at 
the south end of Boston ; prohibition from erecting entrenchments by the 
royal forces ; restitution of the military stores forcibly taken from the arse- 
nals and magazines ; the resignation of the mandamus counsellors, or their 
impeachment as traitors : the mission of an agent to Canada to treat with its 
inhabitants, and express grateful recognition of friendly donations ; and the 
appointment of a commander-in-chief for the whole militia. Strict obser- 
vance of the advice of the Continental Congress was enjoined. 

It is said, ' If all infractions of our rights, by acts of the British Parlia- 
ment, be not redressed, and we restored to the full enjoyment of all our priv- 
ileges, contained in the charter of this province, granted by their late majes- 
ties, King William and Queen Mary, to a punctilio, before the day of your 
meeting, then, and in that case, you are to consider the people of this prov- 
ince as absolved, on their part, from the obligation therein contained, and to 
all intents and purposes reduced to a state of nature ; and you are to exert 
yourself in devising ways and means to raise from the dissolution of the old 
constitution, as from the ashes of the Pheniy a new form, wherein all oflnr-nrs 

92 INSTKUCTIONS. [17 74. 

shall be dependent on the suffrages of the- people for their existence as such, 
"whatever unfavorable constructions our enemies may put upon such procedure. 
The exigency of our public affairs leaves us no other alternative from a state 
of anarchy or slavery.' ^ 

A more explicit declaration of independence can scarcely be found in the 
splendid document, which in 1776, in more glowing words proclaimed the 
dissolution of all ties of colonial relation. 

Gov. Gage, alarmed by the spirit of the instructions, and the stormy aspect 
of the times, issued his proclamation, Sept. 28, declaring, that it was expedi- 
ent, the session of the General Court summoned for the fifth of October, 
should not then be held ; discharging the members from attendance at that 
time ; and announcing his intention not to meet the assembly. The current 
of popular feeling was not thus to be diverted. The representatives elect 
convened at Salem, resolved themselves into a provincial Congress, elected 
John Hancock, President, and Benjamin Lincoln, Secretary, and immediately 
adjourned to Concord. 

The Committee of Worcester county waited on Gen. Gage, Oct. 20, and 
presented a well-written remonstrance against the oppressive acts of the min- 
istry, to which, they say, ' this people are determined, by the Divine favor, 
never to submit, but with their lives. ' The military governor returned a very 
brief and unsatisfactory answer. 

The patriotic resistance of invasions of liberty was not confined to munici- 
pal corporations or general assemblies of citizens. The fervid enthusiasm, 
pervading the whole fabric of society, manifested itself in varied forms. 
Meetings of artisans and craftsmen, as distinct bodies, were held, and spirited 
resolutions adopted. One specimen, selected from many, will afford example 
of their proceedings. 

A convention of the Blacksmiths of the County, was held at Worcester, 
Sept. 8, and continued by adjournment to Nov. 8, 1774. Ross Wyman, of 
Shrewsbury, presided, and Timothy Bigelow, of Worcester, was clerk. The 
result of their session, subscribed by forty three members, was widely distrib- 
uted in handbills. It was as follows : 

' Whereas, at a meeting of the delegates from the counties of Worcester, 
Middlesex and Essex, with the committee of correspondence of the town of 
Boston, in behalf of the county of Suffolk, holden at Boston, the 26th day of 
August, 1774, it was resolved: That all such officers or private persons as 
have given sufficient proof of their enmity to the people and constitution of 
this country, should be held in contempt, and that those who are connected 
with them ought to separate from them ; laborers to shun their vineyards, 
merchants, husbandmen and others to withhold their commerce and supplies : 

* In compliance, therefore, to a resolution of so respectable a body as afore- 
said, so reasonable in its contents, and so necessary at this distressing day of 

1 These instructions were reported by David Bancroft, Jonathan Stone, Nathan Baldwin 
and Stephen Salisbury. They have been printed at length in the appendix to the address 
of the Hon. John Davis, at the dedication of the town hall, 1825. 


1774.] blacksmiths' convention. 93 

trial, we, the subscribers, being deeply impressed with a sense of our duty to 
our country, paternal affection for our children and unborn millions, as also 
for our personal rights and liberties, solemnly covenant, agree and engage, to 
and with each other, that from and after the first day of December, 1774, we 
will not, according to the best of our knowledge, any or either of us, nor any 
person by our direction, order, or approbation, for or under any or either of 
us, do or perform any Blacksmith's work, or business of any kind whatever, 
for any person or persons whom we esteem enemies to this country, commonly 
known by the name of tories, viz. all counsellors in this province appointed 
by mandamus, who have not publicly resigned said office, also every person 
who addressed governor Hutchinson at his departure from this province, who 
has not publicly recanted, also every officer exercising authority by virtue of 
any commission they hold tending to carry any of the late oppressive acts of 
parliament into execution in America; and in particular, we will not do any 
work for Tim. Ruggles of Hardwick, John Murray of Rutland, and James 
Putnam of Worcester, Esq'rs ; nor for any person or persons cultivating, till- 
ing, improving, dressing, hiring or occupying any of their lands or tenements. 
Also we agree to refuse our work of every kind as aforesaid, to all and every 
person or persons, who shall not have signed the non-consumption agreement, 
or have entered into a similar contract or engagement, or that shall not strict- 
ly conform to the association or covenant agreed upon and signed by the Con- 
tinental Congress lately convened at Philadelphia. 

' We further agree, that we will not do any work for any mechanic, 
tradesman, laborer, or others, that shall work for, or in any ways or by any 
means whatever, aid, assist, or promote the business, or pecuniary advantage, 
pleasures, or profits of any of the said enemies to this country. 

' Resolved, That all lawful ways and means ought to be adopted by the 
whole body of the people of this province, to discountenance all our inveter- 
ate political enemies in nnanner as aforesaid. Therefore, we earnestly recom- 
mend it to all denominations of artificers, that they call meetings of their res- 
pective craftsmen in their several counties, as soon as may be, and enter into 
associations and agreements for said purposes, and that all husbandmen, 
laborers, &c. do the like : And that whoever shall be guilty of any breach of 
any or either of the articles or agreements, be held by us in contempt, as ene- 
mies to our common rights.' 

A volume might be collected from the instructions, resolutions, memorials, 
and addresses spread on the records of the town, and scattered through the 
documents of its committees, conventions, and political associations. The 
same decision, intelligence, and independence, woven into the papers which 
have been copied, were continually embodied in language, always forcible and 
energetic, usually simple and correct, often eloquent and elegant. Many of 
the productions of later periods were marked by distinguished ability. It is 
only possible to select a small portion from the great mass of materials : the 
omissions are less to be regretted, as action soon gave stronger illustration of 
feeling, than could be derived from written declarations. In the primary 


movements of the revolution, Worcester Avas the central point from which 
animating influences were diff'used over the surrounding country. If the first 
impulses were derived from the metropolis of the state, the motion was com- 
municated and wonderfully accelerated by the vigorous exertion of the capital 
of the county. If the impressions made by that capital on her neighbors, 
were less distinct during the progress, than at the commencement of the strug- 
gle, it was not because the flame of patriotism burned less bright, but that 
the most ardent of her citizens laid down the pen to take up the sword, and 
the eff"orts to produce union and excite, resolution in the assemblies of the 
people, were exchanged for demonstrations of their practical efi"ects in the 
camp and on the battle field. 

Towards the close of the year, efi"orts were made to establish a depot of 
provisions and munitions of war, at Worcester. Beef, pork, grain, and flour, 
were collected from the inhabitants, and probably from other sources, as sub- 
scriptions for the purpose Avere made by some of the patriotic leaders in Bos- 
ton. A quantity of lead was obtained, and some of the committee of corres- 
pondence exhibited so much zeal, as to solicit the gift of the broad pewter 
platters of family use, to be converted into bullets. As compared with the 
collections which gave to Concord the glory of the visit of the British troops, 
on the nineteenth of April following, the deposites here were very incon- 


1775 to 1783. American Revolution. Preparations for war. Instructions, 1775. Sur- 
vey of British officers. Commencement of hostilities. Alarm of April 19. March of 
minute men. Tories disarmed. Memorial of officers. Royalist confessions. Clark 
Chandler. British prisoners. Poor of Boston. Military requisitions. Fourth of July, 
1776. Regulation of prices. Detail of levies of troops, contributions, exertions, and 
proceedings, during the war. County conventions. Constitution. Excise. Peace 
restored. Proceedings as to refugees. 

On the commencement of the year 1775, was a period of intense interest. 
The difficulties between the mother country and the colonies were fast hasten- 
ing to a decision by the appeal to battle. The whigs, wlio might at the outset 
have been contented with the redress of grievances, and by reasonable con- 
cessions, now looked forward to the accomplishment of independence. The 
royalists, driven by the course of events into a position from which they could 
not recede, were separated from their countrymen. The inflexible persever- 
ance of the ministry left no hope of conciliation. The language of modera- 
tion was still on the lips of men, but stern determination in their hearts. It 
was like the pause on the eve of fight, when the signal for engagement is im- 
patiently awaited. 

Preparations for the conflict were actively, though silently made. In Jan- 
uary, 1775, it was recommended to the companv of miu'ite men, to exercise 

1775.] INSTRUCTIONS. 95 

frequently and perfect themselves in discipline, and payment was promised 
for their services. Efforts were strenuously made to procure a supply of arms 
and munitions. The collectors of taxes were instructed, as all public moneys 
ought to be appropriated for the greatest benefit, and the Provincial Congress 
had appointed Henry Gardiner, Esq. receiver general, to pay over to him all 
sums which might come to their hands from assessments, and it was voted, 
to idemnify them from the consequences of obedience to this injunction. 

A committee of inspection was elected, to carry into direct execution the 
resolves of the Continental Congress against the consumption of teas and the 
importation of foreign goods. 

The instructions ^ to Timothy Bigelow, reelected delegate to the Provincial 
Congress, attest the reluctance which was felt to become aggressors. After 
commenting on the violations of rights, and soliciting ' the advice of the gen- 
eral Congress, as to what measures are most proper for the province to adopt 
respecting civil government, which at this day we are deprived of,' they say, 
' and we determine to rest quietly in this situation, however perplexing, agree- 
ably to the recommendation of our late Continental Congress, until the opera- 
tion of their petition to his majesty be known : excepting the commencement 
of hostilities against us, should require the adopting a form of civil gov- 
ernment for the defence of our lives and property. And under such exigency, 
you are to conduct yourself accordingly, and endeavor that the best form pos- 
sible be adopted, for the support of good order and the liberties of the people, 
which, we think, make every servant of the public dependent upon the suffra- 
ges of the people for their authority.' 

The severity of the winter prevented any movements of the British troops 
from Boston, to repress the revolutionary spirit manifesting itself in military 
arrangements, as well as in municipal resolutions. Preparations were, how- 
ever, made for the march of the forces, in the spring, into the counties of 
Worcester and Middlesex, to inflict vengeance on those styled rebels. Capt. 
Brown of the 53d, and Ensign De Bernicre, of the 1 0th regiment, were 
ordered by Gen. Gage, to make an expedition, examine the roads, note the 
distances from town to town, sketch the positions of the streams, heights, 
passes, and posts, and collect such topographical information as would be use- 
ful for the advance of a detachment. The report of their journey, made by 
the latter officer, was found after the evacuation of the metropolis." They 
left Boston disguised as countrymen, without uniform, and passed through 
Cambridge, Watertown, and by Framingham, to Shrewsbury, on the old road. 
The following is the account of their visit in Worcester. 

' We came into a pass, about four miles from Worcester, where we were 
obliged to stop to sketch. We arrived at Worcester at five o'clock in the 
evening, very much fatigued : the people in the town did not take notice of 
us as we came in, so that we got safe to Mr. Jones' tavern : ^ on our entrance 

1 Reported by Nathan Baldwin and Jonathan Stone, Jan. 24, 1775. 
* This paper was first printed in 1779, and republished in 2 Mass. Hist. Col. iv. 204. 
2 A few rods south of the Old South Church. 


he seemed a little sour, but it wore off by degrees, and we found him to be 
our friend, which made us very happy : we dined and supped without any 
thing happening out of the common run. The next day being Sunday, we 
could not think of travelling, as it was contrary to the custom of the country : 
nor dare we stir out until the evening, because of meeting : and nobody is 
allowed to walk the streets, during divine service, without being taken up 
and examined : so that, thinking we could not stand the examination so well, 
we thought it prudent to stay at home, where we wrote and corrected our 
sketches. The landlord was very attentive to us, and on our asking what he 
could give us for breakfast, he told us, tea, or any thing else we chose ; that 
was an open confession what he was : but for fear he might be imprudent, we 
did not tell him who we were, though Ave were certain he knew it. In the 
evening, we went round the town, and on all the hills that command it, 
sketched every thing we desired, and returned to the town without being 
seen. That evening about eight o'clock, the landlord came in and told us 
there were two gentlemen who wanted to speak with us. We asked him who 
they were ? On which he said, we would be safe in their company : we said 
we did not doubt that, as we hoped two gentlemen, who travelled merely to 
see the country and stretch our limbs, as we had lately come from sea, could 
not meet with any thing else but civility, when we behaved ourselves prop- 
erly. He told us he would come in again in a little time, and perhaps we 
would change our minds, and left us. An hour after, he returned, and told 
us the gentlemen were gone, but had begged him to let us know, as they 
knew us to be officers of the army, that all their friends of government at 
Petersham were disarmed by the rebels, and that they threatened to do the 
same at Worcester in a very little time : he sat and talked politics, and drank 
a bottle of wine with us ; and also told us, that none but a few friends to 
government knew we were in town : we said, it was very indifferent to us 
whether they did or not, though we thought very differently: however, as we 
imagined we had staid long enough in that town, we resolved to set off at day 
break the next morning, and get to Framingham. Accordingly, off we set, 
after getting some roast beef and brandy from our landlord, which was very 
necessary on a long march, and prevented us going into houses where, perhaps, 
they might be too inquisitive. We took a road we had not come, and that 
led us to the pass four miles from Worcester. We went on unobserved by 
any one, until we passed Shrewsbury, when we were overtaken by a horse- 
man, who examined us very attentively, and especially me, whom he looked 
at from head to foot, as if he wanted to know me again : after he had taken 
his observations, he rode off pretty hard, and took the Marlborough road, but, 
by good luck, we took the Framingham road again, to be more perfect in it, 
as we thought it would be the one made use of.' 

The horseman was Capt. Timothy Bigelow, sent by the committee of cor- , 
respondence to observe the officers, whose martial bearing, notwithstanding 
their caution and disguise, betrayed their military character. Having follow- 
ed the Framingham road to its intersection with the highway through Sudbury, 


they turned back to Marlborough. There they were in great clanger of being 
seized and detained ; but, by the aid of the friends of government, they es- 
caped and reached Boston in safety. Soon after, they explored the road to 
Concord and the country round. 

It was, unquestionably, the purpose of Gen. Gage, to have marched troops 
to Worcester, to capture the stores reported to be collected here in great quan- 
tities, although really inconsiderable in amount. A plan of the village, with 
the outline of military works, and notes indicating the position of two regi- 
ments, was seen by a citizen of the town, ^ among the papers left by the Brit- 
ish after the evacuation. Possibly it might have been proposed to canton a 
part of the army in the interior. Whatever disposition of troops had been 
contemplated, the result of the April movements prevented the execution. 

In March, the company of minute men were directed to train half a day ia 
each week ; payment of one shilling was allowed to each for this service, and 
a penalty provided, equal in amount, for absence. This company had met al- 
most daily for months. When the weather permitted, they paraded on the 
common, or occupied the streets. In the storms of winter they were drilled 
in some hall. Under the instruction of Capt. Bigelow, they had attained 
great proficiency in military science, and when afterwards mustered at Cani- 
bridge, received commendations from the superior officers, for good discipline 
and celerity of evolution. Captain Bigelow was soon promoted, and was suc- 
ceeded in the command by Lieutenant Hubbard. When new enlistment.'? 
were made, this company was virtually disbanded, although the men served 
in the new corps which were formed. 

Their services were soon to be required for the defence of the country. Be- 
fore noon, on the 19th of April, an express came to the town, shouting, as he 
passed through the street at full speed, ' to arms ! to arms ! the war is begun I ' 
His white horse, bloody with spurring, and dripping with sweat, fell exhaust- 
ed by the church. Another was instantly procured, and the tidings went on. ^ 
The bell rang out the alarm, cannon were fired, and messengers sent to every 
part of the town to collect the soldiery. As the news spread, the implements 
of husbandry were thrown by in the field, and the citizens left their homes 
with no longer delay than to seize their arms. In a short time the minute 
men were paraded on the green, under Capt. Timothy Bigelow ; after fervent 
prayer by the Rev. Mr. Maccarty, they took up the line of march. They were 
soon followed by as many of the train bands as could be gathered, under 
Capt. Benjamin Flagg. On that day, 110 men marched from the town of 
Worcester for Concord. Intelligence of the retreat of the enemy, met them 
after they advanced, and they turned towards Boston. When Capt. Bigelow 

1 The late Isaiah Thomas. An extensive encampment, with a fortress, was projected on 
Chandler hill, the eminence commanding the town on the east. 

^ The passage of the messenger of war, mounted on his white steed, and gathering the 
population to battle, made vivid impression on memory. The tradition of his appearance 
is preserved in many of our villages. In the animated description of the aged, it seems 
like the representation of death on the pale horse, careering through the land, with his 
terrific summons to the grave. 




reached the ancient Howe tavern, in Sudbury, he halted to rest his men. 
Capt. Benjamin Flagg, who had commenced his march an hour or two later, 
came up, and insisting on pushing forward without loss of time, both officers 
moved on to Cambridge. 

The rolls of these soldiers of patriotism have fortunately been preserved in 
the office of the Secretary of State, where they were returned in compliance 
with a resolution of the Provincial Congress.-^ 

The organization of the army which had spontaneously collected at Cam- 
bridge, was immediately made. Timothy Bigelow was appointed Major in 
Col. Jonathan Ward's regiment. A company of fifty-nine men, enlisted on 
the 24th of April, under Capt. Jonas Hubbard, Avith John Smith and William 
Gates, lieutenants, all from Worcester. 

Seventeen other soldiers joined the companies of Capts. Washburn, Fay 
and Jones, in Cols. Ward's and Doolittle's regiments of infantry. 

About tAventy more were enrolled in the regiment of artillery under Col. 

1 ' Muster roll of a company of minute and militia men, which marched from the town 
of Worcester to Cambridge, on the alarm, April 19, 1775, under the command of Capt. 
Timothy Bigelow, in the regiment of which Artemas Ward, Esq., was Colonel.' 

Timothy Bigelow, captain ; Jonas Hubbard, John Smith, lieutenants ; William Gates, 
Nathaniel Harrington, John Kannaday, William Dana, Serjeants; John Pierce, Cyprian 
Stevens, Joel Smith, Nathaniel Heywood, corporals ; Eli Putnam, drummer ; John Hair, 
Joseph Pierce, fifers. 

Joseph Ball, 
Jonathan Stone, 

Peter Boy den, 
Benjamin Bennet, 
David Chadwick, 
Eli Chapin, 
Philip Donehue, 

John Hall. 
Artemas Knight, 
John Knower, 
Ephraim Miller, 
William Miles, 

Benjamin Estabrook, Joseph Morse, 

Jonas Nichols, 
Josiah Pierce, 
Solomon Smith, 
Ithamar Smith, 
Phinehas Ward, 
Ebenezer Wiswall, 
James Wiser, 
Daniel Haven, 
William Trowbridge, 
John Cole, 

Samuel Wesson, 
Thomas Nichols, 
Thomas Knight, 
Joseph Miller, 
Samuel Harrington, 
Thomas Lynde, 
Joseph Cunningham, 
Joshua Harrington, 
Robert Crawford, 
Moses Hamilton, 
Samuel Bennett, 

Daniel Willington, 
William Curtis, 
William Treadwell, 
Edward Swan, 
Joseph Curtis, 
Samuel Cook, 
Samuel Dunham, 
Asa Ward, 
Elisha Fuller, 
John Totman, 
Joseph Thorp, 
George Walker, 
Thomas Drury, 

Josiah Elaeg, 
Phineas Flagg, 
.Nathaniel Flagg, 
Josiah Gates, 
Thomas Gates, 
Jonathan Gleason, 
James Taylor, 
William Griggs, 
Gideon Griggs, 
Edward Hair, 
Asa Harrington, 

* Muster Roll of Capt. Benjamin Flagg's company, in the Colony service, on the alarm, 
April 19, 1775. 

Benjamin Flagg, captain; William McFarland, lieutenant; Ebenezer Lovell, ensign; 
Daniel Beard, Benjamin Flagg, Jr., Serjeants. 

Samuel Hemmenway, Samuel Brown, 
William Walker, Adam Hemmenway, 

Nicholas Powers, Josiah Perry. 

Eleazer Holbrook, 
Isaac Jlorso, 
Abel Holbrook, 
Jacob Holmes, Jr., 
Simeon Duncan, 
Samuel Clark, 
Eleazer Hawes, 

Isaac Gleason, 
Robert Smith, 
Samuel Sturtevant, 
Daniel Stearns, 
Edward Crafts, 
Samuel Gates, 
David Richards, 

Gershom Holmes, 
Simon Gates, 
Isaac Knight, 
Ezekiel Howe, Jr. 
Abel Flagg. 
Levi Houghton, 

Samuel Whitney, 
Benjamin Whitney, Jr. 
Josiah Harrington, Jr. 
Samuel Whitney, Jr. 
Jonathan Stone, 
Oliver Pierce. 


Thomas Crafts ; Edward Crafts served with, the rank of captain ; William 
Dana and William Treadwell were lieutenants in his company. 

While the military strength of the town was arrayed in arms against the 
troops of the king, the committee of correspondence were dealing with the 
internal enemies of the country. On the intelligence of the commencement 
of the war, many of the protesters abandoned their families, their homes and 
possessions, and took refuge in Boston. Those who remained were summon- 
ed before the revolutionary tribunal, on the 21st of April, and were compelled 
to give assurances that they would not go out of the town without permission 
from the selectmen. On the 8th of May, Mr. William Campbell, charged 
with a violation of this agreement, and Mr. Samuel Paine, accused of circu- 
lating reports injurious to the honor of the provincial army, Avere arrested, 
and sent under guard to the Congress, at Watertown, by order of the town. 
An opportunity was offered to the royalists of redeeming their character by 
joining the American troops, ' under penalty of being considered unworthy of 
the future confidence of their countrymen, and willing to join an unlawful ban- 
ditti, to murder and ravage.' As the proposal was not complied with, the com- 
mittee issued their precept to the sheriff, to notify twenty-nine persons to ap- 
pear before them with their muskets and ammunition. The order was obey- 
ed, and the remains of the party thus summoned, were disarmed, and then 
permitted to retire. 

The negroes of Bristol and Worcester having petitioned the committee of 
correspondence of the latter county, to assist them in obtaining their freedom, 
it was resolved, in a convention- held at Worcester, June 14, • That we abhor 
the enslaving of any of the human race, and particularly of the negroes in 
this country, and that whenever there shall be a door opened, or opportunity 
present for anything to be done towards the emancipation of the negroes, we 
will use our influence and endeavor that such a thing may be brought about.' 

In Sej,tember, 1775,^ the company from Worcester, stationed at Dorchester, 
with the officers of Col. Ward's regiment, presented to the General Assembly 
at Watertown, a remonstrance against indulgences to the royalists, represent- 
ing, ' that as some of these vermin, or Avorse, emissaries of tyranny, are crawl- 
ing out of Boston to their forfeited seats in Worcester, there is reason to sus- 
pect, that either their expectations fail, and therefore they would gladly return 
to their former seats and profits, until a more favorable opportunity presents 
to carry their evil machinations into execution, or, they are contriving, by de- 
grees, to slide back to their seats, and there to avail themselves of the good 
opinion of the people, in order to play their parts, to divide and subdivide, or 
by some method weaken our union, or to form some diabolical plan for the 
ministry to save the supremacy of parliament, under some soft, sophistical, 
reconciliatory terms. 

'Wherefore, we, your humble memorialists, entreat your honors not to suf- 
fer any of those who return, however humble and penitent they may appear, 
to go at large, or return to their former seats, or even to be so far favored as 

iMass. Sp7, Oct. 20, 1775. 

100 OFriCERS' MEMORIAL. [1775. 

to be confined within the limits of Worcester, but treat them as they deserve, 
enemies in a superlative degree ; confine them close, and render them incapa- 
ble of doing harm ; or return them to Boston, their favorite asylum.' 

The refugees in Boston addressed Gen. Gage, on his departure from the cap- 
ital, in respectful terms. Among the subscribers of the paper presented, were 
some who had been among the most distinguished citizens of Worcester.-^ 

The dealings of the committee of correspondence with those who had in- 
curred the displeasure of the patriotic, Avere of no gentle character. One 
gentleman, having expressed censure of the doings of the revolutionary 
bodies, was compelled to make atonement. Having been summoned to ap- 
pear for an investigation of his conduct, at its conclusion, he was requested to 
affix his signature to a paper prepared for the purpose, afterwards printed in 
the Spy. The proposal could not be resisted, and the following humiliating 
' confession,' as it was termed, was subscribed, Aug, 21, 1775. 

' Whereas I, the subscriber, have from the perverseness of my wicked heart, 
maliciously and scandalously abused the characters and proceedings of the 
Continental and Provincial Congresses, the selectmen of the town, and the 
committees of correspondence in general : 

' I do hereby declare, that at the time of my doing if, I knew the said abus- 
es to be the most scandalous falsehoods, and that I did it for the sole purpose 
of abusing those bodies of men, and affronting my townsmen, and all the 
friends of liberty throughout the continent ; being now fully sensible of my 
wickedness and notorious falsehoods, humbly beg pardon of those worthy 
characters I have so scandalously abused, and of my countrymen in general, 
and desire this confession of mine may be printed in the American Oracle of 
Liberty, for three weeks successively.' 

Having read this declaration of political sin in public, at the meeting house 
and in the streets, and paid the expenses for printing, the confessor was liber- 
ated, and immediately fled to seek asylum from such administration of justice. 

Mr. Clark Chandler had left Worcester in June, and reached Boston by 
way of Newport. After a voyage to Nova Scotia and a journey to Canada, 
he returned in September, and directly surrendered himself and was com- 
mitted as a prisoner to the common jail, by order of the committee, on sus- 
picion of having held intercourse with the enemy. His health becoming 
impaired by confinement, he petitioned the committee, and the General 
Assembly, for liberation, under such restrictions as should be prescribed ; but 
•without avail. The unwholesome air and privations of his situation, having 
brought on dangerous sickness, on the fifth of December, consent was 
obtained for his removal to his mother's house, sufficient bonds being filed, 
that he would not depart from his home, and on the recovery of health 
would await the orders of the municipal authority claiming power so absolute 

1 Hon. John Chandler, Col. James Putnam, William Campbell, AVilliam Chandler, Samu- 
el Paine, James Putnam. Jr., Adam Walker, Nathaniel Chandler, were those who sub- 
Bcribed the address from Worcester. 


over personal freedom : on the 15tli of December, an order of council passed, 
granting him permission to reside in Lancaster, on furnishing security that he 
would not go out of the limits of that town. 

As an incident of the jurisdiction exercised by the committee, was the 
preservation of its own dignity. We find, in December, they had com- 
mitted to prison ' one John Holden,' a paper maker, for insolent behavior 
towards its members. The punishment of this contempt was confirmed by a 
resolve of the General Assembly, ordering his detention in jail, until farther 
directions from the Court. 

These facts are curious, as indicating how unlimited was the control of the 
little bodies, invested by the towns with the care of the public safety, and 
acknowledging no superior, except the Congress of the state or the 

Early in May, 15 prisoners from the British army were sent to Worcester. 
During the residue of the year, the prison was crowded by the successes of 
of the American arms. The captives were enlarged on parol, when employ- 
ment could be obtained among the inhabitants, and provision was made for 
their support and clothing by the General Assembly. 

On the 1st of May, a resolve of the Continental Congress provided for the 
removal of the indigent inhabitants of Boston, estimated to number 5000, 
and their distribution among the towns of the interior. The proportion of 
Worcester county was 1633: Lancaster 103: Brookfield 99: Sutton 98 : 
Worcester 82. Difficulties arose about the removal to other towns, and not 
more than half the number assigned, were supported here. 

The selectmen were required to furnish the soldiers of the town with 
blankets, which were promptly delivered. 

June 15, a requisition was made upon the towns for fire arms and bayonets 
for the use of the army. The quota of Worcester county was 514 : Wor- 
cester, 30. 

June 29, all of the towns in Worcester county were earnestly requested to 
deliver their powder to a committee, except a small quantity left for emer- 
gency. Worcester supplied three barrels, retaining only half a cask from its 

Another requisition was made on the same day, for blankets, and for 
clothing for the men in the service. 

The two largest cannon owned by the town were delivered to the Board of 
War, in November, for the defence of Gloucester. 

In the autumn of 1775, that expedition against Quebec, alike memorable 
for boldness of conception, chivalrous daring of execution, and melancholy 
failure in its result, was projected. Among the volunteers, under the com- 
mand of Arnold, who engaged in the winter march through the wilderness, 
were Major Timothy Bigelow, Capt. Jonas Hubbard, and twelve soldiers from 
Worcester. In the attack on the strongest fortress of the north, on the 31st 
of December, Capt. Hubbard received a seA'ere wound, beneath the ramparts 
of the lower town : refusing to be removed, he perished in the snow storm 
which raged with unusual violence : Serjeant Silas Wesson was slain : Tim- 


othy Rice, mortally wounded, died in the hospital : Major Bigelow and our 
other citizens were made prisoners, and remained in captivity until November 
of the following year, when they were liberated on parol, and afterwards 

Civil government having ceased to exist in its usual form, and the operation 
of the judiciary being suspended, in January 1776, two persons were elected 
as magistrates/ to exercise the powers of justices of the peace, for the pres- 
ervation of order and the punishment of crime. 

Subsequently, May 8, an officer was elected,^ to take acknowledgments of 
debt, where the amount did not exceed twenty pounds. 

A requisition was made on the towns, at the request of Gen. Washington, 
for blankets. The quota of the county Avas 598 : Brookfield, 30 ; Sutton, 
30 : Lancaster, 33 : Worcester, 27. 

Men were drafted for the reenforcement of the army investing Boston, in 
January, by the officers of the militia and the selectmen. Of 749 assigned 
to Worcester county, there were levied in Worcester 32 : Brookfield 49 ; 
Lancaster 46 : Sutton 39 : Mendon 33. 

On the 23d of May, ' a motion was made, to see if the town would sup- 
port Independence, if it should be declared ; and it was voted unanimously, 
that if the Continental Congress should declare the American colonies 
independent of Great Britain, we will support the measure with our lives and 
fortunes.' A copy of this vote was transmitted to the representative,' for his 

A resolution of the General Court was passed June 25, in compliance with 
the request of the Continental Congress, to raise 5000 men to cooperate with 
the continental troops in Canada and New York. Worcester county was 
required to furnish 1 136 men from the alarm and train band lists of the towns, 
to be formed into companies of 59, and embodied in two battalions destined 
for New York. The quota of Lancaster was 72 : Brookfield 69 : Sutton 67 : 
Worcester 56. The bounty allowed to each man was £3, with 18s. more for 
the use of arms and equipments furnished by each. 

It was voted to augment the bounty of the soldiers from this town to nine 
pounds, in addition to the allowance from the colony, and £486 were assessed 
for that purpose. 

On the 10th of July, a new order was passed by the General Court, for 
detaching every twenty fifth man on the train band and alarm list, exclusive 
of those already ordered to be raised, to forra two regiments, in companies of 
77 each, to support the army in the northern department. 

On Saturday, the fourteenth of July, 1776, the Declaration of Independ- 
ence was received. This instrument, the eloquent echo of sentiments as 
boldly expressed, in less splendid form, from almost every village of New 
England, long before they were promulgated in that paper which has been 
reverenced as the Magna Charta of Freedom, was hailed with enthusiasm. 
It was first publicly read, by the late Isaiah Thomas, from the porch of the 
old south meeting house, to the assembled crowd. On Sunday, after divine 

1 Samuel Curtis, William Young, ^ Nathan Baldwin. ^ David Bancroft. 


service, it was read in the church. Measures having been adopted for a cel- 
ebration of the event which separated the colonies from the mother country, 
with formal solemnity, on Monday following, the earliest festive commem- 
oration of the occasion, since hallowed as the national anniversary, took 
place. The following account of the ceremonies is from the Spy. The 
homely style of the sentiments, furnishes curious contrast with the elaborate 
exercise of more modern times. 

' On Monday last, a number of patriotic gentlemen of this town, animated 
with a love of their country, and to show their approbation of the measures 
lately taken by the Grand Council of America, assembled on the green, near 
the liberty pole, where, after having displayed the colors of the thirteen con- 
federate colonies of America, the bells were set ringing and the drums a 
beating : After which, the Declaration of Independence of the United States 
was read to a large and respectable body, among whom were the selectmen 
and committee of correspondence, assembled on the occasion, who testified 
their approbation by repeated huzzas, firing of musketry and cannon, bonfires, 
and other demonstrations of joy ; When the arms of that tyrant in Britain, 
George the III, of execrable memory, which in former times decorated, but of 
late disgraced the court house in this town, were committed to the flames and 
consumed to ashes ; after which, a select company of the sons of freedom, 
repaired to the tavern, lately known by the sign of the King's Arms, which 
odious signature of despotism was taken down by order of the people, which 
was cheerfully complied with by the innkeeper, where the following toasts 
were drank ; and the evening spent with joy, on the commencement of the 
happy era. 

' 1. Prosperity and perpetuity to the United States of America. 2. The 
president of the Grand Council of America. 3. The Grand Council of 
America. 4. His excellency General Washington. 5. All the Generals in 
the American army. 6. Commodore Hopkins. 7. The officers and soldiers 
of the American army. 8. The officers and seamen in the American navy. 
9. The patriots of America. 10. Every friend of America. 11. George re- 
jected and liberty protected. 12. Success to the American arms. 13. Sore 
eyes to all tories, and a chestnut burr for an eye stone. 14. Perpetual itch- 
ing without the benefit of scratching, to the enemies of America. 15. The 
Council and Representatives of the State of Massachusetts Bay. 16. The 
officers and soldiers in the Massachusetts service. 17. The memory of the 
brave General Warren. 18. The memory of the magnanimous General Mont- 
gomery. 19. Speedy redemption to all the officers and soldiers who are now 
prisoners of war among our enemies. 20. The State of Massachusetts Bay. 
21. The town of Boston. 22. The selectmen and committees of correspon- 
dence for the town of Worcester. 23. May the enemies of America be laid 
at her feet. 24. May the freedom and independency of America endure, till 
the sun grows dim with age, and this earth returns to chaos. 

' The greatest decency and good order was observed, and at a suitable time 
each man returned to his respective home.' ^ 

1 Mass. Spy, July 24, 1776. 


On the 10th of September, one fifth part of the militia of the state were 
called out immediately to march to New York, to prevent the enemy from cut- 
ting off the communication between the American army in the city and on the 
Island of New York, and the country. One fourth part of the residue of the 
military, were ordered to be equipped and ready to march at a moment's warn- 
ing. Frequent calls were made for troops for the defence of Boston and other 
exposed places. "Worcester answered each demand, following in quick suc- 
cession, to the utmost extent of her means. 

In September, it was submitted to the people to determine, whether they 
would consent, that the House of Representatives and Council in convention, 
should adopt such constitution and frame of government, as, on the most ma- 
ture deliberation, they should judge would most conduce to the safety, peace, 
and happiness of the state in after successions and generations. The town, 
considering the importance of the object, and the propriety of all the freemen 
having opportunity to express opinion, declined acting, as so many of the cit- 
izens were absent in the public service. Opposition was made by other 
towns, to the assembly proposing the measure, assuming this high duty, as 
the representatives had not been elected with a view to such object. 

The selectmen and committee of correspondence, having been authorized by 
an act to prevent monopoly and oppression, to fix and establish prices, in No- 
vember, reported regulations for the sale of articles of common use and con- 
sumption. They recommended to the good people of the town, to use their 
utmost endeavors, by example, precept and legal exertions to support the lawa 
of the country in general, and called upon them, ' in the name of the govern- 
ment and people of Massachusetts Bay, in the name of the passing soldier, 
in behalf of widows and orphans, as they regarded the credit of the currency, 
the establishment of an army, and the support of the authority of govern- 
ment, which alone renders war successful and gives dignity to peace, to pre- 
vent monopolies and oppression, by vindicating their act against the lawless 
violence which should dare to trample upon it.' ^ 

The beneficial results of the regulations established throughout the com- 
monwealth, were defeated by the fluctuations of the currency, unsustained by 
a metallic basis, which finally depreciated to worthlessness. 

1 The following are the prices of some articles, as fixed in November, 1776. Labor in 
summer, 3s. per day : Wheat, bushel, 6s. 8d. : Rye, 4s. 6d. : Indian Corn, 3s. : Peas, 7s. : 
Beans, 6s. : Potatoes, Spanish, Is. 6d. : Oats, Is. 9d.: Apple?, winter. Is. : Fresh Pork, 
pound, 4d, : Salt Pork, 7d. : Beef, grass fed, 3d. : Beef, stall fed, 4d. : Cheese, 6d. : Butter, 
9d. : Pork, salted, 220 lbs. barrel, £1, 6s. : Beef, salted. 240 lbs. barrel, £3. 8s. 6d. : Flour, 
£1. 3s. : Milk, quart, 2d. : Cider, at the press, barrel, 4s. : Mutton or Veal, pound, 3 /^d. : 
Dinners at taverns, of boiled meat or equivalent, 8d. : Suppers or breakfasts, of tea, coffee 
or choccolate, 8d. : Lodgings, (soldiers sleeping on the floor not to be considered such,) 4d. : 
Flip or toddy, made with New England rum, mug, 9d. : Cotton and linen homespun cloth, 
yard wide, best common sort, yard, 3s. 6d. : Tow cloth, good quality and a yard wide, 2s. 
3d. : Shoes, men's of neat's leather, best common sort, pair, 7s. 6d. : Breeches, of best 
deer's leather, for men, £2. 2s. : Bearer hats, best quality, £2. 2s. : Felt hats, 7s. : Making 
a full suit 01 clothes, full trimmed, £1. 4s. : Wood, good oak, delivered at the door, cord, 
8s. : Boards, best white pine, at the mill, per thousand, £2. 8s. : Hay, English, best qual- 
ity, cwt. 3s. 


In December, Governor Cooke, of Rhode Island, by express, forwarded 
letters, addressed to ' all the brave inhabitants of New England,' earnestly en- 
treating instant assistance to repel apprehended invasion. The whole of Col. 
Wood's and Col. Holman's regiments, were ordered to march to the relief of 
the sister state. Many volunteers from Worcester, promptly entered the 
ranks on the alarm, and remained in service during a portion of the winter. 

The company under Capt. William Gates, in Col. Holman's regiment, was 
principally formed of men from Worcester. Lieutenant Nathaniel Heywood 
and thirty-five privates, were in its ranks, and served in New York. Eight 
were slain in battle or died in camp. 

In Col. Thomas Craft's regiment of artillery were twenty four of our citizens. 

The year 1777 had scarcely commenced, when a requisition was made on 
Worcester, for 32 blankets ; followed, on the 26th of January, by a draft of 
every seventh of the male inhabitants, over 16 years of age, to complete the 
quota of Massachusetts in the continental army and to serve for eight months 
at least. 

The act of the General Court changing the ratio of representation, had ex- 
cited discontent in the community. The town of Sutton invited a coun- 
ty congress, to convene at Worcester, in February, to deliberate on existing 
grievances, and adopt measures for redress. The committees of correspon- 
dence, in their general meeting, about the same time, recommended petitions 
and instructions for the repeal of the law. At the meeting of the inhabitants 
of Worcester, in March, they remonstrated against its provisions, as impolitic, 
unnecessary, unconstitutional, and attended with consequences injurious to 
the inland parts of the state. 

In February, each town was required to purchase and deliver shirts, stock- 
ings, and other clothing for the Massachusetts troops in the continental army, 
in the proportion of one set to every seven males over 16 years of age of the 
population. Worcester supplied sixty-two sets, for which compensation was 
afterwards made. 

A committee was directed, March 18, to ascertain how much each person 
had contributed towards the support of the war, and how much those deficient 
should pay to render the burden equal. A bounty of £20 in addition to the 
grants from the state and continent, was offered to every soldier who should 
enter the army to fill the quota of the town. 

The sum of £1656. 2s. 2d. was levied to defray the expenses of the war, and 
for the payment of bounties. 

Upon representation of the great suffering for salt in the interior, 115 
bushels were granted to Worcester, to be paid for by the selectmen, at the 
rate of 20s. per bushel, and was distributed. 

The selectmen presented to the town a list of persons, esteemed by them 
to be internal enemies. More were nominated and elected in town meeting, 
June 16, and the names of 19 were finally accepted as dangerous. A com- 
mittee was appointed to collect evidence against them preparatory to prosecu- 
tion. Doubts arose of the justice and equity of this extemporaneous process 
of conviction of high crimes, without trial or opportunity for defence, and the 


clerk was directed to suspend his return of the accused with some exceptions. 
A few months after, on the petition of the suspected, it was voted, ' to restore 
the majority to the town's favor,' and on payment of the costs of the proceed- 
ings instituted against them, they were to be considered innocent of treason- 
able designs against the republic. 

Money was raised by loan, to purchase 100 muskets and bayonets, and a 
quantity of powder : to be delivered to the militia on payment of reasonable 
price . 

The prisoners of war, long confined in the common jail, or permitted to 
labor among the inhabitants for support, were removed in June, to Ipswich. 
The rooms of the prison were soon again crowded with captured refugees, 
suspected enemies, deserters, and criminals. 

Every sixth man in Worcester county was drafted, under the resolve of 
August 9, to join the northern army for three months. 

On the alarm occasioned by the successes of Burgoyne, and the march of 
the British army on Bennington, a company, under Lt. Col. Benjamin Flagg, 
with Capt. David Chadwick, Lts. Abel Holbrook and Jonathan Stone, and 68 
non commissioned officers and privates, advanced to Iladley, August 28, on 
their way to Albany. Counter orders, received there, directed their return, 
as the danger had ceased. 

The General Court, September 22, strongly recommended to the militia of 
Worcester, and the western counties, that at least one half should march forth- 
with, to reenforce Gen. Gates, and payment was promised. 

An invitation was given by Sutton, November 3, to tlie neighboring towns, 
to send delegates to a convention, to be held for the purpose of taking into 
consideration an act providing for the payment of interest oa state debts and 
securities, and restraining the circulation of bills of lower denomination than 
£10. The circular letter represents the law to be cruel, oppressive, and un- 
just, and remonstrates against its operation in angry terms. Delegates were 
elected by Worcester. The deliberations of the body, which met on the 13th 
of November, resulted in a petition to the legislature for repeal of the obnox- 
ious statute, and redress of grievances. 

A committee was elected, in December, to provide for the families of the 
soldiers, and considerable disbursements were made in this and succeeding 
years for their support. 

From the return of the selectmen it appears, that 68 men from Worcester 
were in service in the continental line, on terms of enlistment for 8 months, 
3 years, or during the war, who received their clothing principally from the 

From Capt. Ebenezer Lovell's company, thirty seven enlisted in February, 
for three years, and from Capt. Joshua Whitney's twenty six for the same 

The inhabitants expressed their approbation of the articles of Confederation 
of the United States, in January, 1778, and their determination to support 
the government by their utmost exertions. 

A requisition for clothing was made March 13, and Worcester furnished 62 


sets of shirts, shoes, and stockings, for the army, A colonel and 522 privates 
were detached from the brigade of the county, for service on the North river 
and in Rhode Island : Worcester furnished 15 men for this battalion, in 
April. At the same time, a draft was made to complete the state line in the 
continental army. Twelve were returned from Worcester to serve for nine 

A constitution for the State, reported by a committee of the General Court, 
in December, 1777, and approved by that body in January following, was 
submitted to the people, and rejected by a great majority. Of 58 votes given 
here, eight only were in favor of acceptance. 

Six of our citizens were drafted, under the resolve of June 12, for raising 
180 men for an expedition to Rhode Island. On the 23d of June, four more 
were required, as guards for the captured troops of General Burgnyne. In 
November, £736. were granted for bounties to soldiers and the support of their 

The names of six inhabitants of Worcester^ are included in the banishment 
act, forbidding the return of the former citizens of the State who had joined 
the enemy, requiring them, if they once revisited their native country, forth- 
with to depait. and denouncing the penalty of death if they should be found, 
a second time, within the jurisdiction. One thus designated, had afterwards 
permission to reside in the town, regained the confidence, and long enjoyed 
the respect and esteem of the community. 

In March, 1779, the sum of £2000 was assessed to support the war, and 
the militia officers were directed to engage men for the public service, by en- 
listment or draft. In April, three teams were furnished for the transportation 
of warlike stores to Springfield. Ten soldiers were raised, in June, to reen- 
force the army, and sixty- two sets of articles of dress supplied. A voluntary 
contribution of £78. was taken up, in the church, after divine service, for the 
distressed inhabitants of Newport. The town obtained, on loan, £5200 for 
the payment of bounties. 

The anniversary of the Declaration of Independence was commemorated, on 
the 8th of July, by the ringing of bells in the morning, the discharge of 13 
cannon at noon, illumination and the display of 13 rockets at night. 

Severe distress was experienced, from the depreciation of the currency, the 
exorbitant price of the necessaries of life, and the distrust of public credit. 
A convention assembled at Concord, by the invitation of Boston, on the 14th 
of July, composed of delegates from all parts of the State, for the purpose 
of consulting on measures to give eff'ect to the recommendations of Congress 
for the relief of the people. Worcester was represented by David Bigelow 
and Joseph Barber. Prices were regulated by a moderate appraisal of the 
value of articles of produce and merchandise ; loans to government, provision 
for the support of the clergy, and attention to schools, as the means of good 
education, were earnestly recommended. Another convention was proposed, 
in October, and an address was adopted. 

1 John Chandler, James rutnam, Rufus Chandler, William Chandler, Adam Walker, 
William Paine. 


The town, at a meeting in August, expressed cordial approbation of these 
proceedings, and joined a committee to the standing board of correspondence 
and safety to enforce their execution. 

Resolutions-^ were adopted at the same time, which indicate the condition 
and spirit of the country. Some extracts follow. 

' As many of the respectable merchants and fair traders have retired from 
business, their places have been supplied by an augmented number of locusts 
and canker worms, in human form, who have increased, and proceeded along 
the road of plunder, until they have become odiously formidable, and their 
contagious influence dangerously prevalent : Therefore, Resolved, That such 
persons ought not to be admitted to bear a part in any mercantile consulta- 
tion, but should be considered pestilential mushrooms of trade, which have 
come up in the night of public calamity, and ought to perish in the same 

' Whereas, regrators in the public markets, forestallers, engrossers of the 
produce of the country, and higlers, have had a great share in depreciating 
the public currency by their pernicious practices : Resolved, That all such per- 
sons are guilty of a dangerous opposition to the measures necessary to promote 
the well being and prosperity of this country, and ought to be subjected to the 
resentment and indignation of the public, whether their conduct proceeds from 
a general disaffection to public measures, and the independence of these states, 
or from private motives of sordid interest. 

' Resolved, That whoever refuses to sell the surplus of the produce of his 
farm, and retains the same to procure a higher price by means of an artificial 
scarcity, is very criminally accessory to the calamities of the country, and 
ought to be subjected to those penalties and disabilities which are due to an 
inveterate enemy.' 

Delegates from Worcester attended a county convention, on the eleventh of 
August, when a scale of prices was fixed, and resolutions adopted to adhere 
to and execute the regulations.^ 

The same gentlemen were deputed to attend the second State Convention at 
Concord, Oct. 12, where a more detailed regulation of prices was made, reso- 
lutions passed, and an address framed, not essentially different from those of 
the former meeting. 

1 Not having been entered of record, by a singular omission, they have been preserved 
by their publication in the Massachusetts Spy, Aug. 12, 1779. They were reported by 
William Stearns, Nathan Baldwin, and Joseph Allen. 

■■' The following prices stated August, 1779, on comparison with those of November, 177G, 
will show the depreciation of the currency in the interval. 

Corn, bushel, £3.12s. : Rye, £.5.2s. : Wheat, £8.2s. : Oats, £l.l6s. : Cider, barrel, £4: 
Hay, cwt. £1.10s. : Labor in husbandry, day, £2.14s. : Women's labor, week, £2. : Beef, 
pound, 6s. 6d. : Mutton, Yeal, 3s. 6d. : Butter, lis. : Cheese, 6s. 6d. : Wool, £1.4s. : Men's 
Bhoes, pair, £6 : Stockings, £3.12s. : Shirts, tow cloth, £4. 16s. In June, 1779, farmers' 
produce had advanced in the ratio of 36)^ to 1 : West India goods as 41 1-9 to 1 : Labor 
as 15 to 1 of the price in March of the same year. 

1780.] CONSTITUTION. 109 

In August, Levi Lincoln, Joseph Allen, and David Bigelow, were elected 
delegates to the convention for framing a constitution. 

On a requisition for blankets, Sept. 14, Worcester supplied 31. 

The selectmen being required to report the expenditures for raising soldiers, 
made return of 48 persons then in service, who had received $1906, for boun- 
ties on enlistments of three years. The supplies furnished for nine of their 
families, requiring public assistance, during the year, amounted to £599. Os. 
6d. at the current price : reduced to the stated convention price, £39. 17s. 6d. 
In August, £892 was granted to pay for clothing. 

Eight soldiers were raised, Sept. 21, at an expense of £638, for the Rhode 
Island department; and thirteen under the resolve of Oct. 9, to join Gen. 
Washington, at Claverack, on Hudson's river; they received a bounty of £30 
each, and were supported by the town, at a charge, in the aggregate, of 
£2515. 10s. These sums were advanced by individuals, and the credit of the 
town pledged for payment. 

The exertions of preceding years had almost exhausted the money, men, and 
means of the country. The difficulty of complying with the increased requi- 
sitions for public defence, Avas severely felt, and the burdens of the war rest- 
ed with heavy pressure on the community. Yet redoubled efforts were made 
to sustain the army, and meet the frequent demands of the government. 

Incompliance with a resolve of May 4th, 1780, Worcester furnished 43 
sets of blankets, shirts, shoes and stockings. On the 5th of June, 3934 men 
were levied for the continental army, to remain in service 6 months. The 
quota of the county was 636 : Worcester supplied 22 : Lancaster 40 : Sutton 
36 : Brookfield 35 : Mendon 29. Each soldier enlisting for the town, received 
£27 in agricultural produce, at the prices of 1774. In July, 12 horses were 
provided for transportation and cavalry service. The quota of 4726 men for 
three months, under the resolve of June 22, was raised with great labor. 
Worcester county was required to enlist 766 : Worcester 28 : Lancaster 48 : 
Brookfield 42 : Sutton 42 : Mendon 35. The sum of £30,000, of continen- 
tal currency, was assessed, as a tax, for the payment of the troops of the 
town. A further requisition for men was made, on the same day, to be levied 
in the proportion of one to every four detached on the 5th of June, to march 
to Springfield and await orders. Worcester raised 5 soldiers. Provisions be- 
ing needed for the army, Worcester was called on to deliver 17,640 pounds of 
beef, purchased for £529. On the 4th of December, another assessment of 
33,871 pounds was provided for, at the cost of £1270, 3s. 3d. 

In May, the Bill of Rights and Frame of Government was submitted to the 
people, and accepted. The town disapproved of the 3d article of the Bill of 
Rights, relating to the support of religious worship and instruction, and the 
20th, providing that the power of suspending the execution of the laws should 
only be exercised by the legislature : the first was supposed to interfere with 
the rights of conscience, and the latter to restrict too much the authority of 
the executive department. Some articles of the constitution were not accept- 
ed. The 4th article of the 1st section, chapter 1st, investing the General 
Court with powers deemed too extensive for the legislative branch : the 1st 


article of the 3d section of the same chapter, containing the principle of rep- 
resentation : the 9th article following, fixing the quorum of representatives 
for the transaction of business : the 7th article, section 1st, of the 2d chapter, 
defining the power of the Governor : the 3d article of the 6th chapter, estab- 
lishing the value of money, and thereby determining the amount of salaries : 
and the 7th article, prohibiting the suspension of the privilege of the writ of 
habeas corpus, except upon most urgent occasion, and for a limited time, were 
all negatived. Our citizens were desirous of strengthening the executive, and 
giving more efficiency to government. This course, in conflict with the pre- 
valent principles before the revolution, was founded on the necessity of an 
energetic administration, as it was made apparent by the progress of the war, 
and the embarrassments of the times. 

The first elections under this constitution, ratified by the people, took place 
in September. The votes of Worcester were divided : Hancock received 56, 
and Bowdoin 20, for Governor : James Warren 23, and Artemas Ward 28, 
for Lt. Governor. 

On the 2d of December, 1780, 29 men were required as the town's propor- 
tion of 4240, to be enlisted for 3 years, or during the war. The usual means 
of procuring the quota were employed without eff'ect. The companies of mil- 
itia furnished no volunteers ; drafts had become unpopular ; committees to 
seek recruits in other states had been unsuccessful ; and, at length, a system 
of conscription was resorted to, as the only remaining resource for maintain- 
ing the army. 

The citizens were divided into twenty nine classes, according to the valua- 
tion and amount of taxes paid by the individuals. Each class was required 
to furnish a soldier, and provide for his wages and support. Each member 
contributed to this expense, in proportion to his property, ascertained by the 
returns of taxation. The delinquents were reported to the assessors, and the 
sums due from each to his class was included in the next tax and demanded by 
the collector. By this strong measure, the men were procured in February, 
and mustered into service. 

The inhabitants of Sutton, who seem to have been alike discontented 
at the passing or repeal of acts, in March, addressed letters to the 
towns, inviting a convention, to remonstrate against the resolve of the 
Legislature, suspending the tender of the depreciated paper in payment of 
debts at the rate of 40 for 1. Three delegates from this town were elected. 
The assembly was small, and no important consequence followed from the 

Although the line of the continental army had been filled by permanent en- 
listments, troops were required for occasional service.. In June, a detachment 
of 500 men was ordered to march to Rhode Island, and Worcester granted 
£414, in hard money, for the payment of its troops in the expedition. June 
22, the town was required to procure 13,980 pounds of beef, and appropriated 
£400 in gold and silver for that purpose. On the same day, another resolve 
levied on the town 29 blankets, and 59 sets of articles of clothing. On the 
30th, 23 men, for three months service, were raised. The supplying of sol- 


diers had become so difficult, that they were only procured by exorbitant 
bounties, and the most zealous exertions.-^ 

In anticipation of an attack on New York, Gen. Washington asked for re- 
enforcements, and one quarter part of the militia were ordered to hold them- 
selves in readiness to move. The town voted to grant pay to them, should 
they march, in the same proportion with the regular troops. 

The surrender of Cornwallis diffused general joy throughout the country, as 
the omen of a triumphant termination of the war. The event was commemo- 
rated here, on the 7th of November, by the usual festive observances of days 
of rejoicing. ' In consequence of this glorious intelligence,' says the Spy, 
with singular extravagance of expression, * the morning was ushered in by 
ringing of bells, discharging of cannon, displaying of colors, attended with 
the shouts of a grateful populace, and even Aurora advanced and unlocked the 
ruddy gates of the morning with a sympathetic smile P 

In January, 1782, the town expressed strong disapprobation of an act im- 
posing duties on spirituous liquors, teas and other articles of luxury. The in- 
structions to the representative, reported by Timothy Paine, Esq., Nathan 
Baldwin, and Cornelius Stowell, illustrate the change of principles with times. 
The denunciations of tea in the votes, resolutions, and solemn covenants of 
1774, had been forgotten, and opinions of the value of spirits are expressed 
which have been demonstrated to be entirely unsound by the philanthropists 
of recent days. 

•Whereas, the town, at a meeting held on the 21st of January, 1782, dis- 
approved of a late act of this commonwealth, laying an excise on wine, rum, 

1 The amount of money raised by the inhabitants for the support of the war, was really 
very great. The depreciation of the paper currency rendered the nominal amount of tax- 
ation excessive. The true value of grants and appropriations may be estimated by ref- 
erence to the subjoined scale. The figures indicate the number of dollars, in continental 
currency, equivalent to one hundred, in gold or silver. To April, 1780, the value was fix- 
ed as stated below, by the act of Massachusetts. From that date, it has been ascertained 
by taking the average depreciation through the month. 
1777. 1778. 

January, .... 10-5 325 

February, . ... 107 350 

March, 109 375 

April 112 400 

May, 115 400 

June, 120 400 

July, 125 425 

August, 150 450 

September, ... 175 475 

October 275 500 

November 200 545 

December, .... 310 634 

In 1781, one dollar of specie was equal to 187 cents in new emission bills, from Feb. 27 
to May 1 ; 225 to May 25 ; 300 to June 15 ; 400 to Oct. I. Below these dates, the depreci- 
ation approached total worthlessness. 

The whole expenses of the Revolutionary war to the States were, in paper money, $359,- 
647,027 ; estimated in specie, $135,193,703. 



. 742 . . 

. . . 2934 

. 868 . . . 

, . . 3322 

. 1000 . . , 

. . . 3736 

. 1104 . . , 

. . . 4000 

. 1215 . . , 

, . . 5450 

. 1342 . . 

. . . 6650 

. 1477 . . . 

. . . 6900 

. le.'^o . . , 

. . . 7000 

. ISOO . . , 

. . . 7100 

. . ^. . 

. 2030 . . , 

, . . 7200 

. 2308 . . 

. . . 7250 

. 2595 . . 

. . . 74C0 

112 EXCISE ACT. [1782. 

wheel carriages, &c., and did then vote to instruct Samuel Curtis, Esq., their 
representative, to use his utmost endeavors to have that act repealed : 

' The town now, January 25, taking the matter again into consideration, do 
give the following reasons why said act ought to be repealed. 

'1. It is an indirect method of levying monies ; as those who defray those 
duties cannot know what sum they pay ; which is contrary to the genius of a 
free government, which should equalize burdens. 

' 2. It multiplies oaths, and subjects a great number of persons to be sworn, 
in matters wherein they are deeply interested ; and, consequently, instead of 
suppressing immorality, has a contrary tendency. 

* 3. If it is necessary to lay duties for the support of government and the 
suppression of extravagance, such duties ought to be levied on such articles as 
are merely luxurious, and not on some of those mentioned in this act ; spirit- 
uous liquors being absolutely necessary for our seafaring brethren, coasting 
alorig our shores in boats and lighters, at all seasons of the year, to supply 
the markets with wood, lumber and fish ; also for the farmer, whose fatigue is 
almost unsupportable in haytime and harvest ; and for the beginners in bring- 
ing forward new townships where they have nothing to drink but water, and 
are, perhaps, exposed to more hardships than any other persons ; nor on Bo- 
hea Tea, which, in populous towns, and in many places in the country, is sub- 
stituted, by many poor persons, in the room of milk, which is not to be had, 
and they find it to be a cheap diet ; nor on common chaises and other carri- 
ages, such as are kept in the country, for the necessary conveyance of families 
to meeting, &c. ; the use of them very often saves the keeping of a horse ex- 
traordinary, and enables the farmer to keep more cattle and sheep, which are 
more profitable ; and all carriages being manufactured among ourselves, laying 
a duty upon them has a tendency to discourage all those mechanics who are 
employed in making them. 

' 4. The mode pointed out in the act, for collecting duties, is much more 
expensive than necessary, however small the commissions allowed the collec- 
tor may appear ; for if the collector can aff"ord to ride into every town in the 
county for three per cent., the common collector of taxes in each town can af- 
ford to collect the same in his own town for one per cent. ; and convey the 
money to the treasury with his other public money. 

' 5. All consumers of spirituous liquors at taverns, will pay about eight 
times as much as the duties amount to : for it is well known that the tavern 
keeper sells his mixed liquors for two pence more in a mug than before the ex- 
cise was laid, when, in fact, the duties on each mug do not amount to more 
than a farthing. 

' 6. All persons living upon the borders of this government, will purchase 
liquors for their own consumption of the neighboring governments, and there- 
by avoid paying any of said duties. 

* 7. The act laying an excise upon tea, exempts all persons from paying a 
duty who buy at one time fifty pounds or more of Bohea tea, or twenty five 
pounds or more of other India tea, which appears to be calculated to lay a tax 
upon the poor and exempt the rich. 

1782.] WAE lEHMIKATED. 113 

' 8. The consumers of spirituous liquors are charged by the retailer and 
tavern keeper with the whole of the excise, and they are obliged to pay it, 
when, at the same time, the seller is allowed ten per cent for leakage and 
waste, which, with three per cent allowed the collector, amounts to nearly 
thirteen per cent out of the duties intended to be raised by said act : as also 
a further allowance to be made to the seller for as much more as he shall see 
cause to swear that he may have lost by extraordinary leakage or other casualty. 

' 9. There is no check upon the collector's accounts, nor anything to prove 
that the whole money he shall collect is contained in the accounts he shall 
render to the Receiver General : when, by former excise acts, the collector, 
when he received any duties, was obliged to give two receipts of the same ten- 
or and date, one of which was to be lodged with clerk of the Sessions, and 
the clerk was obliged to transmit the same or copies, to the Treasurer, in or- 
der to compare with the accounts of the Collector. 

' Lastly. The act is attended with many difficulties, and has a direct ten- 
dency to embarrass and obstruct trade, and, it is the opinion of this town, if 
continued, it will create great uneasiness among the good people of this Com- 
monwealth, and not answer the design of government in passing the same. 

' The town clerk is, therefore, hereby directed, to furnish Samuel Curtis, 
Esq., our representative, with a copy of our vote of the 21st inst. and the 
foregoing reasons : and the said Samuel Curtis is directed to use his endeav- 
ors, not only to cause the said act to be repealed, but to prevent in future any 
excise or duty being laid upon the necessaries of life.' 

The last requisition for men to join the army was in March, 1782, when 6 
were drafted, for three years. ^ 

The minute recital we have followed seemed necessary, as the only means 
of giving adequate idea of those municipal exertions, whose merit has almost 
passed from remembrance, in the triumphant results they aided to accomplish. 

The supplies, and expenditures of the towns, were charged to the common- 
wealth, and allowed by the United States. But, as they only went to dis- 
charge taxes and assessments, they were, in reality, uncompensated gratuities 
to the public. 

Worcester furnished a large proportion of her male population to the army 
of the revolution. The exact numbers in service cannot be ascertained with 
certainty. If we include with the troops of the regular line, those called out 
for short periods of duty, the following may be considered as a correct state- 
ment of the numbers of men from Worcester in military service during seven 
years of war : 

1 colonel, 2 lieutenant colonels, 2 majors, 7 captains, 10 lieutenants, 5 en- 
signs, 20 Serjeants, and 389 privates. 

1 Quota of Worcester county, 217 : Brookfield 12 : Sutton 12 : Shrewsbury 9 : Lancas- 
ter 7, (Sterling having been taken ofiF) : Mendon 5, (Milford being set ofiF). This and some 
earlier requisiiions for men, clothing, and provisions, were apportioned, not on the basis 
of population, but property according to valuation ; which explains the difference in rel- 
ative proportions. 

114 EOYALISTS. [1783. 

A letter from the committee of correspondence of Boston, in relation to the 
absentees and refugees, was received in May, and a committee ^ elected to ex- 
press the sentiments of the town in reply. 

The following, selected from many votes reported to and accepted by the 
citizens, May 19, 1783, contains the substance of their doings. 

' Voted, That this town consider every country, in times of invasion, as 
having equally a right to the assistance, personal services, and property of all 
its subjects, in opposing its assailants. That this country, more than eight 
years since, was invaded, and has been scourged by a war, which, for the pur- 
pose of reducing it to the servile subjection of foreign domination, has been, 
by sea and land, wasting, and by every species of barbarity, distressing its in- 
nocent inhabitants : a war that has desolated and burned whole towns, and 
rendered wretched and turned out thousands of virtuous Americans, destitute, 
despoiled, and unprovided for by the treaty of peace, which leaves them de- 
pendent on the gratitude and generosity of the country : a war promoted, 
encouraged, and invited by those, who, the moment the bloody banners were 
displayed, abandoned their native land, turned parricides, and conspired to in- 
volve their country in tumult, ruin, and blood. 

' Voted, That, in the opinion of this town, it would be extremely dangerous 
to the peace, happiness, liberty, and safety of these states, to suffer persons of 
the above description to become the subjects of and reside in this government : 
that it would be not only dangerous, but inconsistent with justice, policy, 
our past laws, the public faith, and the principles of a free and independent 
state, to admit them ourselves, or have them forced upon us without our con- 

' Voted, That, in the opinion of this town, this commonwealth ought with 
the utmost caution, to naturalize, or in any other way admit as subjects, a 
common enemy, a set of people who have been, by the united voice of the conti- 
nent, declared outlaws, exiles, aliens, and enemies, dangerous to its political 
being and happiness. 

' Voted, That while there are thousands of the innocent, peaceable and de- 
fenceless inhabitants of these states, whose property has been destroyed and 
taken from them in the course of the war, for whom no provision is made, to 
whom there is no restitution of estates, no compensation for losses, that it 
would be unreasonable, cruel, and unjust, to suffer those who were the wick- 
ed occasion of those losses, to obtain a restitution of the estates they refused 
to protect, and which they have abandoned and forfeited to their country. 

' Voted, That it is the expectation of this town, and the earnest request of 
their committee of correspondence, inspection and safety, that they, with care 
and diligence, will observe the movements of our only remaining enemies : 
that until the further order of government, they will, with decision, spirit and 
firmness, endeavor to enforce and carry into execution, the several laws of this 
commonwealth respecting these enemies to our rights, and the rights of man- 

1 Levi Lincoln, AVilliam Stearns, Joseph Allen, David Bigelow, Isaiah Thomas, Joseph 
Wheeler, Jonathan Rice. 

1783.] INSUKEECTION. 115 

kind : give information should they know of any obtruding themselves into 
any part of this state, suffer none to remain in this town, but cause to be con- 
fined immediately, for the purpose of transportation, according to law, any 
that may presume to enter it.' 


1782 to 1787. Insurrection. Distresses of the people. County Conventions, 1782, 1784, 
1786. Court stopped, Sept.1786. Spirited conduct of Judge Ward. Proceedings of the 
insurgents. Convention, Sept. 1786. Town meeting, Oct. 1786. Court of Sessions 
interrupted. Sheriff Greenleaf. Insurgents occupy the town, Dec. 1786. Militia of 
AVorcester appear in arms for the government. Capt. Howe. Consultations of the in- 
surgents. Distresses of their retreat. Gen. Lincoln's army. Affair at New Braintree. 
Dispersoin of the insurgents. 

The struggles of the Revolution had scarce terminated, before disturbances 
arose among the people, which, in their progress, brought the commonwealth 
to the very verge of ruin. 

Could the existence of insurrection and rebellion be effaced from memory, 
it would be wanton outrage to recall from oblivion the tale of misfortune and 
dishonor. But those events cannot be forgotten : they have floated down in 
tradition : they are recounted by the winter fire-side, in the homes of New 
England : they are inscribed on roll and record in the archives and annals of 
the state. History, the mirror of the past, reflects with painful fidelity, the 
dark as well as the bright objects from departed years, and although we may 
wish to contemplate only the glowing picture of patriotism and prosperity, 
the gloomy image of civil commotion is still full in our sight, shadowing the 
background with its solemn admonition. 

The investigation of the causes of the unhappy tumults of 1786, does not 
belong to the narrative of their local effects on one of the principal scenes of 
action. But it would be great injustice to omit the statement, that circum- 
stances existed, which palliate, though they do not justify, the conduct of 
those who took up arms against the government of their own establishment. 
After eight years of war, Massachusetts stood, with the splendor of triumph 
in republican poverty, bankrupt in resources, with no revenue but of an ex- 
piring currency, and no metal in her treasury more precious than the conti- 
nental copper, bearing the devices of union and freedom. The country had 
been drained by taxation for the support of the army of independence, to 
the utmost limits of its means ; public credit was extinct, manners had become 
relaxed, trade decayed, manufactures languishing, paper money depreciated to 
worthlessness, claims on the nation accumulated by the commutation of the 
pay of officers for securities, and a heavy and increasing pressure of debt 
rested on commonwealth, corporations and citizens. The first reviving efforts 
of commerce overstocked the markets with foreign luxuries and superfluities, 


sold to those who trusted to the future to supply the ability of payment. 
The temporary act of 1782, making property a tender in discbarge of pecun- 
iary contracts, instead of the designed remedial effect, enhanced the evils of 
general insolvency, by postponing collections. The outstanding demands of 
the royalist refugees, who had been driven from large estates and extensive 
business, enforced with no lenient forbearance, came in to increase the embar- 
rassments of the deferred pay day. At length, a flood of suits broke out. 
In 1784, more than 2000 actions were entered in the county of Worcester, 
then having a population less than 50,000, and in 1785, about 1700. Lands 
and goods were seized and sacrificed on sale, when the general difficulties 
drove away purchasers. Amid the universal distress, artful and designing 
persons discerned prospect for advancement, and fomented the discontent by 
inflammatory publications and seditious appeals to every excitable passion and 
prejudice. The constitution was misrepresented as defective, the administra- 
tion as corrupt, the laws as unequal and unjust. The celebrated papers of 
Honestus directed jealousy towards the judicial tribunals, and thundered 
anathemas against the lawyers, unfortunately for them, the immediate agents 
and ministers of creditors. Driven to despair by the actual evil of enormous 
debt, and irritated to madness by the increasing clamor about supposed griev- 
ances, it is scarcely surprising that a sufi'ering and deluded people should 
have attempted relief, without considering that the misery they endured was 
the necessary result from the confusion of years of warfare.-^ 

Before the close of the revolutionary contest, whose pressure had united 
all by the tie of common danger, indications of discontent had been mani- 
fested. The acts of the legislature had excited temporary and local uneasi- 
ness in former years, as the operation of laws conflicted with the views of 
expediency or interest entertained by the village politicians. But in 1782, 
complaints arose of grievances, springing from the policy and administration 
of government, of more general character. On the 14th of April of that 
year, the delegates of twenty six towns of the county assembled in conven- 
tion, and attributing the prevailing dissatisfaction of the people, to want of 
confidence in the disbursement of the great sums of money annually assessed, 
recommended instructions to the representatives, to require immediate settle- 
ment with all public officers entrusted with the funds of the commonwealth ; 
and if the adjustment was delayed or refused, to withdraw from the General 

1 Could we roll back the tide of time, till its retiring wave left bare the rocks on which 
the commonwealth was so nearly wrecked, it is not improbable, we should discover, that a 
loftier and more dangerous ambition, and wider, deeper, and more unhallowed purposes, 
urged on and sustained the men who were pushed into the front rank of rebellion, than 
eame from the limited capacity of their own minds. We might find that the accredited 
leaders of 1786, were only humble instruments of stronger spirits, waiting in their con- 
cealment the results to the tempest they had roused. Fortunately, the energy of govern- 
ment, gave to rising revolution the harmless character of crushed insurrection, saved to 
after years the inquiry for the Catalines of the young republic, and left to us the happy 
privilege of receiving the coin impressed with the mark of patriotism, at its stamped val- 
ue, without testing its deficiency of weight, or assaying the metal to determine the mix- 
ture of alloy. 


Court, and return to their constituents ; to reduce the compensation of the 
members of the House, and the fees of lawyers ; to procure sessions of the 
Court of Probate in different places in the county ; the revival of confessions 
of debt ; enlargement of the jurisdiction of justices of the peace to £20 ; 
contribution to the support of the continental army in specific articles instead 
of money : and the settlement of accounts between the Commonwealth and 
Congress. At an adjourned session, May 14, they further recommended, that 
account of the public expenditures should be annually rendered to the towns ; 
the removal of the General Court from Boston ; separation of the business of 
the Common Pleas and Sessions, and inquiry into the grants of lands in 
Maine in favor of Alexander Shepherd and others. Worcester was represen- 
ted in these assemblies, and in the instructions to Samuel Curtis, Esq., framed 
in accordance with their resolutions, on the 8th of June, the town represented 
as additional grievances, that the Treasurer held the office of Justice of the 
Common Pleas in Middlesex, interfering with the discharge of his general 
duties ; and the proposition for the allowance of half pay for life to the officers 
deranged on the new organization of the army, and not in service. Some of 
the complaints were quieted by legal provisions, and when the convention 
was appointed to be again held by adjournment, in August, the few discon- 
tented persons in attendance dispersed without transacting business.-^ 

The murmurs of the coming storm were first heard here, early in 1784. 
On the invitation of Sutton to each town of the county, the capital sent dele- 
gates to a convention, held in March of that year, of which Ebenezer Davis, 
Esq. was President. Although assembled for the professed purpose of con- 
sidering the expediency af an excise duty alone, the inquiries of this body 
were more extensive in pursuit of existing evils. When the result of its. 
deliberations was communicated to the inhabitants of Worcester, they adopted 
for themselves the petition prepared for general acceptance, representing as. 
grievances, the grant to Congress of an impost for twenty-five years to dis~ 
charge the interest accruing on state securities ; the payment from the treasu- 
ry of the expenses of festive days of rejoicing ; large compensation to officers 
of the continental army ; neglect to redeem the paper currency ; the want of 
a circulating medium ; and the impaired state of credit. The representative 
of the town was instructed to endeavor to procure the removal of the General 
Court from Boston to some country town, where it would be secure from im- 
proper influences ; and to cause an account of the debts, revenues and charges 
of government to be published annually. These complaints, unnoticed by 
the Legislature, seemed to be hushed and quieted by the very neglect they 

But the spirit of discontent, though stilled, was not extinct. It spread 
wider and deeper, and grew stronger in the minds of men, and its voice was 

1 ' While the great body of the people desired only escape from impending suits, with- 
out premeditated malice against the Commonwealth or its institutions, every trivial cause- 
was magaified and perverted to increase the existing irritation, till, under the influence 
of delusion, a deadly blow was struck at both.' MSS. Centennial Address of Hon. Joha 


118 GEIETANCES. [1786. 

again heard. In May, 1786, another invitation from Sutton, for a general 
meeting, was circulated, and passed over here without attention. The del- 
egates of 17 towns, however, formed a convention at Leicester, and elected 
Willis Hall, of Sutton, its President. As the attendance was thin, letters 
were addressed to Worcester, and the other towns of the county unrepre- 
sented, requesting their participation, and an adjournment took place to the 
15th of August following. Our inhabitants, at a meeting held on this appli- 
cation, determined, by a great majority, not to comply ; on the grounds, that 
the body from which it emanated was not recognized by the constitution, 
and that its session was unnecessary and illegal. Thirty seven towns, ap- 
peared by their representatives when the convention was reorganized at Lei- 
cester. It is not uninteresting to notice the gradual increase of alleged evils 
in its doings. In 1784, the list was brief. In 1786, without essential change 
in policy or condition, it had swelled to voluminous extent. In addition to the 
grievances already stated, they enumerated among the sources of uneasiness, 
abuses in the practice of the law ; exorbitance of the items in the fee bill : 
the existence and administration of the Courts of Common Pleas and Ses- 
sions ; the number and salaries of public officers ; grants to the Attorney 
General ; and to Congress, while the state accounts remained unliquidated. 

A committee was instructed to report a memorial, at another session, to be 
had, by adjournment, in Paxton, on the last Tuesday of September. 

Thus far, redress had been sought by the constitutional appeal of the citi- 
zen to the Legislature. The recorded proceedings of the convention are of 
pacific character, expressing disapprobation of combinations, mobs, and riots : 
yet, it is probable, that during the period of its consultations, the bold design 
was originated by the most violent of its members, of resisting the execution 
of the laws and suspending the operations of courts. Soon after the first 
meeting, it was stated in the paper of the town, printed by Mr. Thomas, that 
apprehensions existed of obstruction to the Common Pleas in June. The first 
open act of insurrection followed close upon the adjournment of the conven- 
tion in August. 

Although warning of danger had been given, confiding in the loyalty of the 
people, their love of order, and respect for the laws, the officers of govern- 
ment had made no preparations to support the court, to be held in Worcester, 
in September, 1786. On Monday night, of the first week in that month, a 
body of eighty armed men, under Capt. Adam Wheeler of Hubbardston, 
entered the town, and took possession of the Court House. Early the next 
morning, their numbers were augmented to nearly one hundred, and as many 
more collected without fire arms. The Judges of the Common Pleas had 
assembled at the house of the Hon. Joseph Allen. At the usual hour, with 
the Justices of the Sessions and the members of the bar, attended by the clerk 
and sheriff, they moved towards the Court House. Chief Justice Artemas 
Ward, a general of the revolution, united intrepid firmness with prudent 
moderation. His resolute and manly bearing on that day of difficulty and 
embarrassment, sustained the dignity of the office he bore, and commanded 
the respect even of his opponents. On him devolved the responsibility of an 


occasion affecting deeply the future peace of the community : and it was sup- 
ported well and ably. 

On the verge of the crowd thronging the hill, a sentinel was pacing on 
his round, who challenged the procession as it approached his post. Gen. 
Ward sternly ordered the soldier, formerly a subaltern of his own particular 
regiment, to recover his levelled musket. The man, awed by the voice he had 
been accustomed to obey, instantly complied, and presented his piece, in mili- 
tary salute, to his old commander. The Court, having received the honors 
of war, from him who was planted to oppose their advance, went on. The 
multitude, receding to the right and left, made way in sullen silence, till the 
judicial officers reached the Court House. On the steps was stationed a file of 
men with fixed bayonets : on the front, stood Captain Wheeler, with his 
drawn sword. The crier was directed to open the doors, and permitted to 
throw them back, displaying a party of infantry with their guns levelled, as if 
ready to fire. Judge Ward then advanced, and the bayonets were turned 
against his breast. He demanded, repeatedly, who commanded the people 
there ; by what authority, and for what purpose, they had met in hostile array. 
Wheeler at length replied : after disclaiming the rank of leader, he stated, 
that they had come to relieve the distresses of the country, by preventing 
the sittings of courts until they could obtain redress of grievances. The 
Chief Justice answered, that he would satisfy them their complaints were 
without just foundation. He was told by Capt. Smith of Barre, that any 
communication he had to make must be reduced to writing. Judge Ward 
indignantly refused to do this : he said, he ' did not value their bayonets : they 
might plunge them to his heart: but while that heart beat he would do his 
duty : when opposed to it, his life was of little consequence : if they would 
take away their bayonets and give him some position where he could be heard 
by his fellow citizens, and not by the leaders alone who had deceived and 
deluded them, he would speak, but not otherwise.' The insurgent oftlcers, 
fearful of the effect of his determined manner on the minds of their followers, 
interrupted. They did not come there, they said, to listen to long speeches, 
but to resist oppression : they had the power to compel submission : and they 
demanded an adjournment without day. Judge Ward peremtorily refused to 
answer any proposition, unless it was accompanied by the name of him by 
whom it was made. They then desired him to fall back : the drum was beat, 
and the guard ordered to charge. The soldiers advanced, until the points of 
their bayonets pressed hard upon the breast of the Chief Justice, who stood 
as immovable as a statue, without stirring a limb, or yielding an inch, al- 
though the steel in the hands of desperate men penetrated his dress. Struck 
with admiration by his intrepidity, and shrinking from the sacrifice of life, 
the guns were removed, and Judge Ward, ascending the steps, addressed 
the assembly. In a style of clear and forcible argument, he examined 
their supposed grievances ; exposed their fallacy : explained the dangerous 
tendency of their rash measures ; admonished them that they were placing 
in peril the liberty acquired by the efforts and sufferings of years, plunging 
the country in civil war, and involving themselves and their families in misery : 


that the measures they had taken must defeat their own wishes ; for the gov- 
ernment would never yield that to force, which would be readily accorded to 
respectful representations : and warned them that the majesty of the laws 
would be vindicated, and their resistance of its power avenged. He spoke 
.nearly two hours, not without frequent interruption. But admonition and 
argument were unavailing : the insurgents declared they would maintain their 
ground until satisfaction was obtained. Judge Ward addressing himself to 
Wheeler, advised him to suffer the troops to disperse : ' they were waging 
"war, which was treason, and its end would be,' he added, after a momentary 
pause, ' the gallows.' The judges then retired, unmolested, through armed 
files. Soon after, the Court was opened at the United States Arras Tavern,* 
and immediately adjourned to the next day. Orders were despatched to the 
colonels in the brigade to call out their regiments, and march without a 
moment's delay, to sustain the judicial tribunals : but that right arm on which 
the government rests for defence was paralyzed : in this hour of its utmost 
need, the militia shared in the disaffection, and the officers reported, that it 
was out of their power to muster their companies, because they generally 
favored those movements of the people directed against the highest civil insti- 
tutions of the state, and tending to the subversion of social order. 

In the afternoon of Tuesday, a petition was presented from Athol, request- 
ing that no judgments should be rendered in civil actions, except Avhere debts 
would be lost by delay, and no trials had unless with the consent of the par- 
ties : a course corresponding with the views entertained by the court. Soon 
after, Capt. Smith of Barre, unceremoniously introduced himself to the judges, 
with his sword drawn, and offered a paper purporting to be the petition of 
' the body of people now collected for their own good and that of the Com- 
monwealth,' requiring an adjournment of the courts without day. He 
demanded, in a threatening manner, an answer in half an hour. Judge Ward* 
with great dignity, replied, that no answer would be given, and the intruder 
retired. An interview was solicited, during the evening, by a committee, 
who were informed that the officers of government would make no promises 
to men in hostile array : an intimation was given that the request of the peo- 
ple of Athol was considered reasonable : and the conference terminated. A 
report of the result was made to the insurgents, who voted it was unsatisfac- 
tory, and resolved to remain until the following day. 

During the night, the Court House was guarded in martial form : sentinels 
were posted along the front of the building, and along Main street : the men 
not on duty, bivouaced in the hall of justice, or sought shelter with their 
friends. In the first light of morning, the whole force paraded on the hill, 
and was harangued by the leaders. In the forenoon, a new deputation waited 
on the court, with a repetition of their former demand, and received similar 
reply. The justices assured the committee, if the body dispersed, the people 
of the county would have no just cause of complaint with the course the court 
would adopt. The insurgents, reenforced with about two hundred from Hol- 
den and Ward, now mustered four hundred strong, half with fire arms, and 

1 On the site of the Exchange Coffee House, 1836. 



the remainder furnished with sticks. They formed in column, and marched 
through Main street, with their music, inviting all who sought relief from 
oppression to join their ranks, but receiving no accession of recruits from our 
citizens, they returned to the Court House. Sprigs of evergreeen had been 
distributed, and mounted as the distinctive badge of rebellion, and a young 
pine tree was elevated at their post as the standard of revolt. 

The court at length, finding that no reliance could be placed on military 
support, and no hope entertained of being permitted to proceed with business, 
adjourned, continuing all causes to the next term. Proclamation Avas made 
by the sheriff to the people, and a copy of the record communicated. After 
this, about two hundred men, with sticks only, paraded before the house of 
Mr. Allen, Avhere the justices had retired, and halted nearly an hour, as if 
meditating some act of violence. The main body then marched, down, and 
passing through the other party, Avhose open ranks closed after them, the 
whole moved to the common, where they displayed into line, and sent another 
committee to the court. 

The sessions, considering their deliberations controlled by the mob, deemed 
it expedient to follow the example of the superior tribunal, by an adjourn- 
ment to the 21st of November. When the insurgent adjutant persented a 
paper, requiring it should be without fixed day, Judge Ward replied, the 
business was finished and could not be changed. 

Before night closed down, the Regulators, as they styled themselves, dis- 
persed ; and thus terminated the first interference of the citizens in arms with 
the course of justice. Whatever fears might have beeri' entertained of future 
disastrous consequences, their visit brought with it no terror, and no appre- 
hension for personal safety to their opposers. Both parties, indeed, seemed 
more inclined to hear than strike. The conduct of Judge Ward was dignified 
and spirited, in a situation of great embarrassment. His own deprecation, 
that the sun might not shine on the day when the constitution was trampled 
on with impunity, seemed to be realized. Clouds, darkness, and storm, 
brooded over the meeting of the insurgents, and rested on their tumultuary 
assemblies in the county at subsequent periods. 

The state of feeling here, was unfavorably influenced by the success of the 
insurgents. At a meeting of the inhabitants, on the 25th of September, del- 
egates were elected to the county convention at Paxton, with instructions to 
report their doings to the town. The list of grievances received some slight 
additions from this assembly. The delay and expense of Courts of Probate, 
the manner of recording deeds in one general office of registry, instead of 
entering them on the books of the town where the land was situated ; and the 
right of absentees to sue for the collection of debts, were the subjects of com- 
plaint in a petition, concluding with the request that precepts might be issued 
for meetings, to express public sentiment in relation to a revision of the con- 
sitution, and if two thirds of the qualified voters were in favor of amendment, 
that a state convention might be called. The existence of this body was con- 
tinued by an adjournment to Worcester. The petition was immediately for- 
warded to the General Court. A copy was subsequently submitted to the 


town, at a meeting held October 2, for the purpose of receiving a report from 
the delegates. It was then voted, ' that Mr. Daniel Baird be requested to 
inform the town whether this petition was according to his mind, and he 
informed the town it was : but that he did not approve of its being sent to 
the General Court before it had been laid before the town.' The petition was 
read paragraph by paragraph, rejected, and the delegates dismissed. 

On the 16th of October, in compliance with the 'request of 34 freeholders, 
another town meeting was called : after long and warm debate, the former 
delegates were reelected, to attend the convention, at its adjourned session. 
A petition had been offered, praying consideration of the measures proper in 
the alarming situation of the country, and for instructions to the representa- 
tive to inquire into the expenditure of public money, the salaries of officers, 
the means of increasing manufactures, encouraging agriculture, introducing 
economy, and removing every grievance. Directions were given to endeavor 
to procure the removal of the Legislature from the metropolis to the interior ; 
the annihilation of the Inferior Courts : the substitution of a cheaper and 
more expeditious administration of justice ; the immediate repeal of the sup- 
plementary fund granted to congress ; the appropriation of the revenue arising 
from impost and excise to the payment of the foreign debt ; and the with- 
holding all supplies from Congress until settlement of accounts between the 
Commonwealth and Continent. Resolutions, introduced by the supporters of 
government, expressing disapprobation of unconstitutional assemblies, armed 
combinations, and riotous movements, and pointing to the Legislature as the 
only legitimate source of redress, were rejected. The convention party was 
triumphant by a small majority. While the discussion was urged, a consid- 
erate citizen enquired of one of the most zealous of the discontented, what 
grievances he suffered, and what were the principal evils among them ? 
' There are grievances enough, thank God !' was the hasty reply, ' and they 
are all principal ones.' 

The jurisdiction of the sessions was principally over criminal offences, and 
its powers were exercised for the preservation of social order. No opposition 
had been anticipated to its session, on the 21st of November, and no defen- 
sive preparations were made. On that day, about sixty armed men, under 
Abraham Gale of Princeton, entered the north part of the town. During the 
evening, and on Wednesday morning, about one hundred more arrived, from 
Hubbardston, Shrewsbury, and some adjacent towns. A committee presented 
a petition to the court, at the United States Arms tavern, for their adjourn- 
ment until a new choice of representatives, which was not received. The 
insurgents then took possession of the ground around the Court House. 
When the Justices approached, the armed men made way, and they passed 
through the opening ranks to the steps. There, triple rows of bayonets pre- 
sented to their breasts, opposed farther advance. The Sheriff, Col. William 
Greenleaf of Lancaster, addressed the assembled crowd, stating the danger to 
themselves and the public from their lawless measures. Reasoning and warn- 
ing were ineffectual, and the proclamation in the riot act was read for their 
dispersion. Amid the grave solemnity of the scene, some incidents were 


interposed of lighter character. Col. Greenleaf remarked with great severity, 
on the conduct of the armed party around him. One of the leaders replied, 
they sought relief from grievances : that among the most intolerable of them 
was the Sheriff;' himself: and next to his person were his fees, which were 
exorbitant and excessive, particularly on criminal executions. ' If you con- 
sider fees for executions oppressive,' replied the sheriff, irritated by the attack, 
• you need not wait long for redress; for I will hang you all, Gentlemen, for 
nothing, with the greatest pleasure.' Some hand among the crowd, which 
pressed close, placed a pine branch on his hat, and the county officer retired, 
with the Justices, decorated with the evergreen badge of rebellion. The clerk 
entered on his records, that the court Avas prevented from being held by an 
armed force, the only notice contained on their pages that our soil has ever 
been dishonored by resistance of the laws. 

To this period, the indulgence of government had dealt with its revolted 
subjects as misguided citizens, seduced to acts of violence from misconception 
of the sources of their distress. Conciliatory policy had applied remedial 
statutes wherever practicable, and proffered full pardon and indemnity for past 
misconduct. Reasonable hopes were entertained that disaffection, quieted by 
lenient measures, would lay down the arms assumed under strong excitement, 
and that reviving order would rise from the confusion. But the insurgents, 
animated by temporary success, and mistaking the mildness of forbearance for 
weakness or fear, had extended their designs from present relief to permanent 
change. Their early movements were without further object than to stay that 
flood of executions which wasted their property and made their homes deso- 
late. That portion of the community, who condemned the violence of the 
actors in the scenes we have described, sympathized in their sufferings, and 
were disposed to consider the offences venial, while the professed purpose of 
their commission was merely to obtain the delay necessary for seeking consti- 
tutional redress. All implicated, stood on safe and honorable ground, until 
the renewal, on the 21st of November, of the opposition to the administration 
of justice. Defiance of the authority of the state, could no longer be tolerated 
without the prostration of its institutions. The crisis had arrived, when gov- 
ernment, driven to the utmost limit of concession, must appeal to the sword for 
preservation, even though its destroying edge, turned on the citizen, might be 
crimsoned with civil slaughter. Information Avas communicated to the execu- 
tive of extensive levies of troops for the suppression of the judiciary, and the 
coercion of the legislature. Great exertions were making to prevent the ap- 
proaching session of the Court of Common Pleas, in Worcester, in the first week 
of December, Gov. Bowdoin and the council, resolved to adopt vigorous meas- 
ures to overawe the insurgents. Orders were issued to Major General Warner, 
to call out the militia of his division, and five regiments were directed to hold 
themselves in instant readiness to march. Doubts, however, arose, how far 
reliance could be placed on the troops of an infected district. The sheriff 
reported, that a sufficieut force could not be collected. The first instructions 
were therefore countermanded, a plan having been settled to raise an army 
whose power might effectually crush resistance, and the Judges were advised 


to adjourn to the 23d of January following, when the contemplated arrange- 
ments could be matured to terminate the unhappy troubles. 

The insurgents, unapprised of the change of operations, began to concen- 
trate their whole strength to interrupt the courts at Worcester and Concord. 
They had fixed on Shrewsbury as the place of rendezvous. On the 29th of 
November, a party of forty from Barre, Spencer, and Leicester, joined Capt. 
Wheeler, who had established his head quarters in that town during the pre- 
ceding week, and succeeded in enlisting about thirty men. Daniel Shays, the 
reputed commander in chief, and nominal head of the rebellion, made his first 
public appearance in the county soon after, with troops from Hampshire. 
Reenforcements came in, till the number at the post exceeded four hundred. 
Sentinels stopped and examined travellers, and patrols were sent out towards 
Concord, Cambridge, and Worcester. On Thursday, Nov. 30, information 
was received, that the Light Horse, under Col. Hitchborn, had captured Shat- 
tuck, Parker and Paige, and that a detachment of cavalry was marching 
against themselves. This intelligence disconcerted their arrangements for an 
expedition into Middlesex, and they retreated, in great alarm, to Holden. 
On Friday, Wheeler was in a house passed by the horsemen, and only escaped 
from being captured by accident. Another person, supposed to be com- 
mander, was pursued, and received a sabre cut in the hand. The blow was 
slight, but afforded sufficient foundation for raising the cry that blood had 
been shed, and raising passion to vengeance. The wounded insurgent was 
exhibited and bewailed as the martyr of their cause. As the light horse 
retired, it was discovered they did not exceed twenty. About an hundred of 
Shay's men rallied, and returned to Shrewsbury, following a foe whose celerity 
of movement left no cause to fear they could be brought to an encounter. 
Search was made for the town stock of powder, removed by the vigilance of 
one of the selectmen. Col. Cushing, whose house they surrounded, and whose 
person they endeavored to seize, but he escaped. Consultation was held on 
the expediency of marching directly to Worcester, and encamping before the 
Court House. Without clothing to protect them from cold, without money, 
or food to supply the wants of hunger, it was considered impracticable to 
maintain themselves there, and on Saturday, they marched to Grafton, and 
went into quarters with their friends. 

The party left at Holden, found one object of their meeting, the junction 
with the insurgents at Concord, frustrated. Those who belonged to the 
neighboring towns were therefore dismissed, with orders to assemble in Wor- 
cester on Monday following. Shays retired to the barracks in Rutland, and 
sent messengers to hasten on the parties from Berkshire and Hampshire, in 
anticipation of meeting the militia of government at Worcester. 

On Sunday evening, the detachment from Grafton entered the town, under 
the command of Abraham Gale of Princeton, Adam Wheeler of Hubbardston, 
Simeon Hazeltine of Hardwick, and John Williams, reputed to be a deserter 
from the Brittsh army, and once a serjeant of the continental line. They 
halted before the Court House, and having obtained the keys, placed a strong 
guard around the building, and posted sentinels on all the streets and avenues 


1786.] MILITIA. CAPT. HOWE. 125 

of the town to prevent surprise. Those who were off duty, rolling them- 
selves in their blankets, rested on their arms, on the floor of the Court room. 

However the fidelity of Worcester might have wavered, its citizens had 
now become aware of the peril of their rights, when the mustering power of 
rebellion was attempting to upheave the foundations of government. The 
whole military strength of the town rallied to its support. Two full compa- 
nies of our militia, enrolling one hundred and seventy rank and file, paraded 
on Monday, at the South Meeting House, under the senior captain, Joel Howe. 
In the afternoon, they formed in column, and marched down Main street. 
On approaching the United States Arms tavern, the head quarters of the in- 
surgents, the drums beat to arms, and their lines were formed across the road. 
Capt. Howe, advancing in slow time, sent forward an adjutant to demand by 
Avhat authority the highways were obstructed. A contemptuous answer was 
returned, that he might come and see. Another officer was detached, to order 
them to remove, as the militia intended to pass over the ground they occu- 
pied : the reply was, they might pass if they could. Capt. Howe then halted, 
and addressed his men in an animating tone, expressing his determination to 
proceed, and his reliance on their intrepidity. The bayonets were fixed, and 
the company then advanced : in a few paces they came to the position for a 
charge. The front rank of the insurgents stood in readiness to use their 
muskets, while the band of Capt. Howe moved steadily down upon their line. 
For ^ moment, civil war seemed about to drench our streets in blood. Vet- 
erans of the revolution were arrayed on both sides, who had been too often 
amid the shot of battle, to shrink from danger in any form. Fortunately, the 
insurgents were not prepared to stain their cause by the slaughter of their 
brethren. Their line Avavered, and breaking, by a rapid wheel, gained a new 
position on the hill. The militia went by their post, to the Hancock Arms,^ 
beyond the north square. It was doing no injustice to their gallantry to be- 
lieve, their congratulations were sincere on the innocent result of appearances 
so menacing. After brief rest, they returned, and were dismissed, until the 
next morning, with merited commendations. Their spirited conduct was pro- 
ductive of salutary effects. It ascertained, that their opponents were too 
apprehensive of consequences to support their demands by force, and the dread 
their formidable array might have inspired, was changed to contempt and 
derision of their pretensions. 

As the evening closed in, one of the most furious snow storms of a severe 
winter commenced. One division of the insurgents occupied the Court 
House : another sought shelter at the Hancock Arms. The sentinels, chilled 
by the tempest, and imagining themselves secured by its violence from attack, 
joined their comrades around the fire of the guard room. The young men of 
the town, in the spirit of sportive mischief, contrived to carry away their mus- 
kets, incautiously stacked in the entry way, and having secreted them at a 
distance, raised the alarm that the light horse were upon them. The party 
sallied out in confusion, and panic struck at the silent disappearance of their 

1 This building was afterwards the Brown & Butman Tavern, and destroyed by fire, Dec. 
24, 1824, 


arms, fled through the fast falling snow to the Court House, where their 
associates had paraded. The guns were discovered, at length, and the whole 
force remained, ready for action, several hours, frequently disturbed by the 
fresh outcries of their vexatious persecutors. 

The increasing fury of the storm, and the almost impassable condition of 
the roads, did not prevent the arrival of many from Holden, and the vicinity, 
on Tuesday, swelling the numerical force of malcontents to five hundred- 
The Court was opened at the Sun Tavern,^ and in conformity with the instruc- 
tions of the Governor, adjourned to the 23d of January, without attempting 
to transact business. Petitions from committees of Sutton and Douglas, that 
the next session might be postponed to March, were disregarded. 

Worcester assumed the appearance of a garrisoned town. The citizens 
answered to the frequent challenges of military guards : the traveller was 
admonished to stay his steps by the voice and bayonet of the soldier. Sen- 
tries paced before the house of Mr. Allen, the clerk, where Judge Ward re- 
sided, and the former gentleman was threatened with violence on his own 
threshold. Mr. Justice Washburn of Leicester, was opposed on his way, and 
two of his friends, who seized the gun presented to his breast, were arrested 
and detained in custody. Justice Baker, on his return homeward, was appre- 
hended in the road, and some of his captors suggested the propriety of send- 
ing him to prison, to experience the corrective discipline, to which as a 
magistrate, he had subjected others. 

On Tuesday evening, a council of war was convened, and it was seriously 
determined to march to Boston, and effect the liberation of the state prisoners, 
as soon as sufficient strength could be collected. In anticipation of attack, 
the Governor gathered the means of defence around the metropolis. Guards 
were mounted at the prison, and at the entrances of the city : alarm posts 
were assigned ; and Major General Brooks held the militia of Middlesex con- 
tiguous to the road, in readiness for action, and watched the force at Worcester. 

During the evening of Tuesday, an alarm broke out, more terrific to the 
party quartered at the Hancock Arms, than that which had disturbed the re- 
pose of the preceding night. Soon after partaking the refreshment which 
was sometimes used by the military, before the institution of temperance so- 
cieties, several of the men were seized with violent sickness, and a rumor 
spread, that poison had been mingled Avith the fountain which supplied their 
water. Dr. Samuel Stearns of Paxton, astrologer, almanac manufacturer, and 
quack by profession, detected in the sediment of the cups they had drained, 
a substance, which he unhesitatingly pronounced to be a compound of arsenic 
and antimony, so deleterious, that a single grain would extinguish the lives of 
a thousand. The numbers of the afflicted increased with frightful rapidity, and 
the symptoms grew more fearful. It was suddenly recollected that the sugar 
used in their beverage, had been purchased from a respectable merchant of 
the town,'^ whose attachment to government was well known, and the sickness 
around was deemed proof conclusive that it had been adulterated for their de- 
struction. A file of soldiers seized the seller, and brought him to answer for 

1 United States Hotel, 1836. 2 xhe late Daniel Waldo (sen.) Esq. 


the supposed attempt to murder the levies of rebellion. As he entered the 
house, the cry of indignation rose strong. Fortunately for his safety, Dr. 
Green of Ward, an intelligent practitioner of medicine, arrived, and the exe- 
cution of vengeance was deferred until his opinion of its propriety could be 
obtained. After careful inspection of the suspected substance, and subjecting 
it to the test of different senses, he declared, that to the best of his knowl- 
edge, it was genuine, yellow, scotch snuff. The reputed dying raised their 
heads from the floor : the slightly affected recovered : the gloom which had 
settled heavily on the supposed victims of mortal disease Avas dispelled, and 
the illness soon vanished. Strict enquiry furnished a reasonable explanation : 
a clerk in the store of the merchant had opened a package of the fragrant com- 
modity, in the vicinity of the sugar barrel, and a portion of the odoriferous 
leaf had, inadvertently, been scattered from the counter into its uncovered 
head. A keg of spirit was accepted in full satisfaction for the panic occasion- 
ed by the decoction of tobacco so innocently administered. 

Bodies of militia, anxious to testify their reviving zeal, were toiling through 
the deep snow drifts. Gen. Warner, finding that no benefit could be derived 
from their presence, sent orders for their return to their homes, and the insur- 
gents enjoyed the triumph of holding undisputed possession of the town. 

On Wednesday, December 6, they went out to meet Shays, who arrived 
from Rutland with 350 men. As they reentered the street, the appearance of 
the column of 800 was highly imposing. The companies included many who 
had learned their tactics from Steuben, and served an apprenticeship of disci- 
pline in the ranks of the revolution : war worn veterans, who in a good cause, 
would have been invincible. The pine tuft supplied the place of plume in 
their hats. Shays, with his aid, mounted on white horses, led on the van. 
They displayed into line before the Court House, where they were reviewed 
and inspected. The men were then billeted on the inhabitants. No compul- 
sion was used : where admittance was peremptorily refused, they quietly re- 
tired, and sought food and shelter elsewhere. Provision having been made 
for the soldiers. Shays joined the other leaders in council. At night, he was 
attended to his quarters, at the house of the late Col. Samuel Flagg, by a 
strong guard, preceded by the music of the army, with something of the state 
assumed by a general officer. Precautions against surprise were redoubled. 
Chains of sentinels were stretched along the streets, planted in every avenue 
of approach, and on the neighboring hills, examining all who passed. The 
cry of ' all's well,' rose on the watches of the night, from those whose pres- 
ence brought danger to the Commonwealth. 

Committees from some of the neighboring towns, and many of the promi- 
• nent members of the conventions, assembled with the military leaders, on 
Thursday, the 6th of December. Their deliberations were perplexed and 
discordant. The inclemency of the weather had prevented the arrival of the 
large force expected. The impossibility of retaining the men who had as- 
sembled, without munitions, subsistence, or stores, compelled them to aban- 
don the meditated attack on Boston, then put in a posture of defence, and 
more pacific measures were finally adopted. A petition was prepared for 


circulation, remonstrating against the suspension of the habeas corpus writ ; 
asking for the pardon and release of the prisoners ; a new act of amnesty ; 
the adjournment of courts until the session of the new Legislature in May ; 
and expressing their readiness to lay down their arms on compliance with these 
demands. In the afternoon, Shay's men and part of Wheeler's, to the num- 
ber of 500, began their march for Paxton, on their way to the barracks in 
Rutland. About an hundred more retired to the north part of the town. 

Friday was spent in consultation. Aware that public sentiment was setting 
against them with strong reaction, the mercy which had been rejected was now 
supplicated. Letters Avere addressed to each town of the county, inviting the 
inhabitants to unite in their petitions. Shays himself, in a private conference 
with an acquaintance, made use of these expressions : ' For God's sake, have 
matters settled peaceably ; it was against my inclinations I undertook this 
business ; importunity was used which I could not withstand ; but I heartily 
wish it was Avell over.' 

In the evening, the Court House was abandoned, but sentries were posted 
at almost every door of the outside and interior of the public house, where the 
leaders remained in consultation. 

Another snow storm commenced on Saturday morning. Luke Day, with 
150 men from Hampshire, reached Leicester, but Avas unable to proceed in the 
tempest. About noon, all the insvirgents in Worcester paraded before their 
head quarters, and were dismissed. The companies of Ward, Holden, Spen- 
cer, Rutland, Barre, and Petersham, after moving slowly through Main street 
in distinct bodies, took up the line of march for their respective homes, through 
roads choked with drifts. 

The condition of these deluded men during their stay here, was such as to 
excite compassion rather than fear. Destitute of almost every necessary of 
life, in an inclement season, without money to purchase the food which their 
friends could not supply, unwelcome guests in the quarters they occupied, 
pride restrained the exposure of their wants. Many must have endured the 
gnawings of hunger in our streets : yet, standing with arms in their hands, 
enduring privations in the midst of plenty, they took nothing by force, and 
trespassed on no man's rights by violence : some declared they had not tasted 
bread for twenty four hours ; all who made known their situation, were re- 
lieved by our citizens with liberal charity. 

The forlorn condition of the insurgents Avas deepened by the distresses of 
their retreat. Their course was amid the wildest revelry of storm and wind, 
in a night of intense cold. Some Avere frozen to death by the way : others, 
exhausted Avith struggling through the deep and drifted snoAV, sunk down, and 
would have perished but for the aid of their stouter comrades : Avhen relief ' 
was sought among the farm houses, every door Avas opened at the call of mis- 
ery, and the wrongs done by the rebel Avere forgotten in the sufferings of him 
who claimed hospitality as a stranger. 

The Avhole number assembled at Worcester never exceeded a thousand. The 
spirit animating the first movements had groAvn cold, and Shays expressed to 
an acquaintance here, the impression that the cause had become gloomy and 

1787.] GEN. LINCOLX'S ARMY. 129 

hopeless. In conversation with an officer of government, he disclaimed being 
at the head of the rebellion ; declared he had come to the resolution to have 
nothing more to do with stopping courts : that if he could not obtain pardon, 
he would gather the whole force he could command, and fight to the last ex- 
tremity, rather than be hanged. When asked if he would accept pardon were 
it offered, and abandon the insurgents, he replied, ' Yes, in a moment. ' ^ 

The delay of government, while it afforded time to circulate correct infor- 
mation among the people, left the insurgents at liberty to pursue their mea- 
sures. The Court at Springfield, on the 26th of December, was resisted, and 
intelligence was received of active exertions to prevent the session of the Com- 
mon Pleas, at Worcester, on the 2od of January. Longer forbearance would 
have been weakness, and vigorous measures were adopted for sustaining the 
judiciary. An army of 4400 men was raised from the counties of Suffolk, 
Essex, Middlesex, Hampshire, and Worcester, for thirty days service. Gen- 
eral Benjamin Lincoln, whose prudence and military skill peculiarly quali- 
fied him for the important trust, received the command. Voluntary loans were 
made by individuals for the armament, pay, and subsistence of the troops. 

On the 21st of January, the army took up the line of march from Roxbury. 
The inclemency of the weather, and the condition of the roads, rendered a 
halt necessary at Marlborough. The next day, the troops reached Worcester, 
notwithstanding the effects of sudden thaw on the deep snow, and were quar- 
tered on the inhabitants, the houses being thrown open for their shelter and 
comfort. Here they were joined by the regiments of the county. The town 
contributed its quota liberally. In the company under Capt. Joel Howe, were 
27 non commissioned officers and privates. In the artillery, under Capt. Wil- 
liam Treadwell, were enrolled 43 of our citizens. Nineteen served under 
Capt. Phinehas Jones. Seven dragoons were embodied in a legionary corps. 
Lt. Daniel Goulding was at the head of a troop of cavalry. The late judge 
Edward Bangs, Timothy Bigelow, afterwards Speaker of the house of Repre- 
sentatives of Massachusetts, and Theophilus Wheeler, Esq., served as volun- 

Detachments of insurgents collected at Rutland, New Braintree, Princeton, 
Sterling, and Sutton, but, intimidated by the military, hovered at a distance, 
while the courts proceeded. On the 25th of January, Gen. Lincoln hastened 
westward for the relief of Shepard, and of the arsenal at Springfield, invested 
by Shays and Day. 

Major General Warner was left in command at Worcester, with a regiment 

1 The retreat of Shays not only afforded the friends of order occasion for triumph, but 
sport for wit. An epigram, from one of the prints, affords a specimen of the poetry and 
jest of the time. The name of the common carriage, the chaise, and that of the insur- 
gent leader, had then the same spelling as well as sound. 

' Says sober Will, well Shays has fled, 

And peace returns to bless our days. 
Indeed ! cries Ne<l, I always said, 

IIe"d prove at last a, fall back Shays; 
And those turned over and undone, 
Call him a worthless Shays to run.' 

130 roECES or the insukgexts koitted. [1787. 

of infantry, a corps of artillery, including Capt. Treadwell's company, two 
field pieces, and a party from the legionary battalion of volunteer cavalry. In- 
formation having been given that a body of about two hundred insurgents 
had assembled at New Braintree, intercepting travellers and insulting the 
friends of government, twenty horsemen, supported by about 150 infantry in 
sleighs, were sent out, on the night of the 2d of February, to capture or disperse 
the disaffected. Upon approaching the place of their destination, the cavalry 
were ordered to advance at full speed to surprise the enemy. The insurgents, 
apprised of the expedition, had abandoned their quarters at the house of Micah 
Hamilton, and taken post behind the walls of the road side, and having fired 
a volley of musketry iipon the detachment, fled to the woods : Mr. Jonathan 
Rice of Worcester, a deputy sheriff, was shot through the arm and hand : 
Doct. David Young was severely wounded in the knee : ^ the bridle rein of 
Theophilus Wheeler, Esq., was cut by a ball. "Without halting, the soldiers 
rapidly pursued their way to the deserted head quarters, where they liberated 
Messrs. Samuel Flagg and John Stanton of Worcester, who had been seized 
the day previous, while transacting private business at Leicester. Having 
dispersed those who occupied the barracks at Rutland, the next day, the com- 
panies returned with four prisoners. 

The career of Shays was fast drawing to its close. Driven from post to 
post, he suddenly retired from Pelham to Petersham, Avhere he expected to 
concentrate the 'forces of expiring rebellion, and make his final stand. Intel- 
ligence of this change of position reached Gen. Lincoln at Hadley, February 
3d, and he determined, by prompt and decisive action, to terminate the war- 
fare. When the troops took up the line of march, at 8 o'clock, the evening 
was bright and mild. Before morning the cold became intense : the dry and 
light snow, whirled before a violent north wind, filled the paths and rendered 
them almost impassable. The severity of the cold prevented any halt for rest 
or refreshment. At a distance from shelter, without defence against the 
inclemency of the weather, it became necessary to press on, without pausing, 
to the camp occupied by men possessing all martial advantages, except cour- 
age and a good cause. The heavy sufferings of the night were terminated, by 
the arrival of the troops in the very center of Petersham. The followers of 
Shays, trusting to the violence of the storm and the obstructions of the high- 
ways, rested in careless security. The first warning of danger Avas from the 
appearance of the advanced guard of the forces of government, after a journey 
of thirty miles, in the midst of their cantonment. Had an army dropped 
from the clouds upon the hill, the consternation could not have been greater. 
Panic struck, the insurgents fled, without firing a gun, or offering resistance 
to soldiers exhausted by fatigue, with frozen limbs, and almost sinking under 
the privations and hardships of the severe service. 

Thirty of the citizens of Worcester were in this expedition, and shared in 
the movement, called by Minot ' one of the most indefatigable marches that 
ever was performed in America.' Gen. Lincoln writes from Petersham, Feb. 

1 Dr. Young afterwards recovered £1000, in a civil action, against those by whom he 
■was wounded. 


4, ' we arrived here about nine o'clock, exceedingly fatigued by a marcb of 
thirty miles, part of it in a deep snow, and in a most violent storm. When 
this abated, the cold increased, and a great part of our men were frozen in 
some part or other ; but I hope none of them dangerously so, and that most 
of them will be able to march again in a short time.' The insurgents never 
again collected in force : independent parties appeared in different parts of 
the western counties : but they were soon compelled to seek safety by sub- 
mission, or flight into the neighboring states. Two or three only, of our 
townsmen, bore arms with Shays. 

The rebellion being terminated, the infliction of some punishment for the 
highest political crime was deemed expedient. Some of those who had been 
in arms against the laws, Avere brought to trial, convicted of treason, and sen- 
tenced to death. Henry Gale of Princeton, was the only insurgent found 
guilty of capital ofl'ence, in this county.^ On the 23d day of June, at the 
hour fixed for his execution by the warrant, he was led out to the gallows 
erected on the common, with all the solemn ceremony of such exhibitions. 
A reprieve was there read to him, and afterwards full pardon was given. ^ 
Proceedings for seditious practices, pending against several prisoners, were 
suspended. The mercy of government was finally extended to all, who had 
been involved in the difficulties and disorders of the time, upon taking the 
oath of allegiance to the commonwealth, after some temporary civil disquali- 

1 The court assigned as his counsel, Levi Lincoln, sen. and James Sullivan. The warm 
support of government by the former had rendered him obnoxious to the insurgents. 
During their occupation of the town, they sent parties to seize his person, who surrounded 
and searched his house. Seasonably informed of their intentions, he was able to disap- 
point them. 

- Six were convicted of treason in the county of Berkshire, six in Hampshire, one in 
Worcester, and one in JMiddlescx, all of whom received sentence of death, but were subse- 
quently pardoned. The only public punishment actually inflicted, except limited disqual- 
ifications from civil or military office, was on a member of the house of representatives, 
guilty of seditious words and practices, who was sentenced to sit on the gallows with a 
rope about his neck, pay a fine of £50, and to be bound to keep the peace and be of good 
behavior for five years. 

3 The facts stated in the foregoing chapter have been derived, from the Worcester Mag- 
azine, published by Isaiah Thomas, 1786, 1787, Independent Chronicle. Columbian Centi- 
nel, Minot's History of the Insurrection, Files in the ofl^ice of the Secretary of State, Cor- 
respondence of Levi Lincoln, sen. American Antiquarian Society's MSS. Some notice of 
Daniel Shays will be found in the appendix. 



Reception of Washington, 1789. Memorial on the treaty with England, 1797. Volun- 
teers, 1798, Funeral honors to Washington, 1800. Militia volunteer, 1807. Roston 
Memorial, 1808. War of 1812. British prisoners. Troops called into service, 1814. 
Visit of Lafayette, 1824. Amendments of the Constitution. Benefactions of Isaiah 
Thomas, Incorporation of Holden and Ward. Proposed division of the county. 

In the progress of the narrative, we have arrived to thatperiod, when the 
events of the past are so closely connected with the feelings of the present, 
as to impose painful restraint on the course of minute recital. The faithful 
review of the incidents of local history from the adoption of the federal con- 
stitution, embracing the struggles of the great parties dividing the communi- 
ty, executed in the spirit of independence and impartiality, would be alike 
useful and interesting. But the time has not yet come when the details of the 
contest agitating every village of the country, and kindling strife in the rela- 
tions of social life, can be recorded with freedom and frankness. The embers 
of political controversy, long covered over, have not been so extinguished, 
that the annalist may tread with safety over the spot where they once glowed. 
The sons may not hope to render unbiassed judgment of the measures of the 
sires, in scenes of intense excitement. When another generation shall have 
passed away, and the passions and irritation of the actors shall exist in mem- 
ory alone, the story may be told faithfully, without fear that inherited partial- 
ity or prejudice may lend undue coloring to the picture delineated. 

Some particulars of the history of the last half century, insulated from 
those dissentions which have long been quieted and which it is not desirable 
now to recall to recollection, are scattered through the space remaining to be 

In 1789, President Washington visited New England, and was received 
with those demonstrations of gratitude and respect due to his eminent ser- 
vices and exalted virtues. The notice of his arrival at Worcester, in the Spy, 
is characteristic of the style of the times. 

' Information being received on Thursday evening, [Oct. 22] that ^25 High- 
ness would be in town the next morning, a number of respectable citizens, 
about forty, paraded before sunrise, on horseback, and went as far as Leices- 
ter line to welcome him, and escorted him into town. The Worcester com- 
pany of artillery, commanded by Major Treadwell, were already assembled ; 
on notice being given that his Highness was approaching, five cannon were 
fired, for the five New England States ; three for the three in the Union ; 
one for Vermont, which will speedily be admitted ; and one as a call to Rhode 
Island to be ready before it be too late. When the President General arrived 
in sight of the meeting-house, eleven cannon were fired : he viewed with 
attention the artillery company as he passed, and expressed to the inhabitants 
his sense of the honor done him. He stopped at the United States Arms, 
and breakfasted, and then proceeded on his journey. To gratify the inhabi- 
tants, he politely passed through the town on horseback, dressed in a brown 


suit, and pleasure glowed in every countenance ; eleven cannon were again 
fired. The gentlemen of the town escorted him a few miles, when they took 
their leave.' 

Acceptable as the testimonials of the enthusiastic joy of his fellow citizens 
must have been to the great patriot, the extravagant epithets of description 
comported little with the simplicity and unostentious plainness of his character. 

On the request of a number of the principal inhabitants, a meeting was 
convened, May 2, 1796, for the expression of sentiments in relation to the 
commercial treaty with England ; a memorial, reported by a committee/ was 
adopted and transmitted to the Hon. Dwight Foster, representative of the 
district in Congress, for presentation. 

' To the honorable House of Representatives of the United States: The 
inhabitants of the town of Worcester, in the county of Worcester, and state 
of Massachusetts, sensible that it is not wise in the people in their primary 
assemblies, to decide confidently on important and difficult political questions, 
or even to use their right of petitioning with design to impose their particular 
opinions, yet, on the present occasion, when the voice of the people appears 
to be called for, and is going forth to your honorable body from all parts of 
the union, leaving all questions concerning the merits of the treaty with Great 
Britain, take the liberty to suggest, as our opinion, that, considering the 
present state of the treaty already ratified by the President and Sen te we 
believe from a serious impression of duty, and considering the happy advan- 
tages of peace and neutrality now enjoyed by this country, and the alarms, 
the anxieties, and interruptions to business, if not war, that may be the conse- 
quences of delaying to carry the treaty into eff'ect, it would be best, and we, 
therefore, beg leave to express our wishes, that your honorable house would 
not delay to make appropriations to carry the same into eff'ect.' 

The hostile attitude of France, in 1798, required energetic preparations for 
defence. Congress authorized the President, to raise troops for the war 
establishment, and to organize volunteer corps in a provisional army, to be 
called out in case of apprehended invasion, or on pressing emergency, but 
not to receive pay unless in actual service. A. company of sixty, rank and 
file, was formed here, under Capt. Thomas Chandler, called the Worcester 
Volunteer Cadet Infantry, holding themselves in readiness to march on the 
reception of orders. A standard was wrought, and presented to this corps by 
the ladies, with the usual complimentary and patriotic address, and received 
with the accustomed chivalrous expressions of gratitude. The company of 
artillery joined the forces collected in the south part of the county, and was 
in the bloodless campaign of ' the Oxford Army.' A rendezvous was opened 
here, during the diff"erences with the French republic. Some of our citizens 
enlisted, and encamped with the 14th regiment, commanded by Lieut. Col. 
Rice. No opportunity of distinction was aff'orded by land ; the laurels were 
exclusively gathered from the ocean. 

1 Edward Bangs, Isaiah Thomas, Samuel Chandler, Benjamin Heywood, and William 



The town joined in the national honors paid to the memory of Washington, 
on the 22d of February, 1800, the anniversary of the birth of the father of 
his country. The company of cavalry, the artillery, cadets, militia, the youth 
of the schools, and a great concourse of citizens, moved with solemn music to 
the old south church, which was hung with black and with emblems of mourn- 
ing. An eloquent eulogy was pronounced by the Rev. Doct. Bancroft, on 
the virtues of the departed soldier, statesman, and patriot. 

During the political controversies, which, for nearly thirty years, divided 
public opinion in the United States, a decided majority of the inhabitants of 
Worcester were of the democratic party, when the name marked well-defined 
distinction of principles. The leading men of the times were ardent politi- 
cians, and there were periods of excitement when diversity of sentiment 
impaired the harmony of social intercourse, separated those closely allied by 
the ties of kindred, and dissolved the bonds of ancient friendship. When 
the feuds and animosities of the past have subsided, it excites surprise, that 
the surface, now so tranquil, should ever have been agitated by commotions 
as angry as were those which once disturbed its repose.-^ 

Conventions of the antagonist parties constantly assembled here, and em- 
bodied, in their resolutions, the feelings of the times. 

In 1807, after the attack on the Chesapeake, when it was apprehended that 
hostilities with England would immediately ensue, the Worcester Light 
Infantry, then commanded by Capt. Enoch Flagg, tendered their services in 
defence of the union. At a meeting of that military corps, August 4, 1807, 
it was resolved, unanimously, ' That in the present exigency of our country, 
the characters of the citizen and the soldier are inseparable ;' and with the 
same unanimity, it was voted, ' that we are ready, at|a moment's warning, 
to march wherever the executive authority may direct, in defence of the inde- 
pendence and integrity of our country, in repelling and chastising insult or 
invasion ; and that, for this purpose, we will constantly hold ourselves in a 
state of preparation.' Soon after, the company of artillery under Capt. 
Curtis, two companies of infantry, under Capts. Harrington and Johnson, 
and the company of cavalry of Worcester and the adjacent towns, under 
Capt. Goulding, volunteered to serve as occasion might require. 

The selectmen of Boston, on the 10th of August, 1808, transmitted a 
petition, adopted by the citizens of that place, addressed to President Jef- 
ferson, praying the suspension of the embargo laws ; or, if doubt existed of 
the competency of the executive for affording relief from measures that 
pressed heavily on commerce, requesting that congress might be convened for 
the purpose of taking the subject into consideration. The communication 
was accompanied with an invitation to call a meeting of the inhabitants of 
the town to obtain their concurrence in the sentiments expressed by the cap- 
ital. The municipal officers declined compliance with thfe proposition. In 
their reply they say : ' we deferred returning an answer, because we thought 
we had reason to believe, that there would be found ten of our own freehold- 

1 The state of political sentiment Trill be sufficiently indicated by the list of votes for 
executive officers, in successive years, in the appendix. 


ers, knowing our sentiments and differing from us, who, by signifying their 
desire in writing, would make it our duty to call such meeting. We can 
delay no longer a civility due to our fellow citizens of the respectable town 
of Boston. We will, therefore, with that friendly freedom which becomes 
citizens whose interests are the same, expose the reasons and sentiments, 
which forbid us to act, in our official capacity, according to your proposal.' 
Assenting to the constitutional right of the citizens to assemble and consult 
for the common good, cordially concurring in respect for the constituted au- 
thorities of the country, they depart widely from the views of policy enter- 
tained by the petitioners, and conclude I)y declaring, that, ' fully persuaded 
we have expressed the sentiments of a large majority of the inhabitants of 
this town, in expressing our own, we cannot believe it Avould be satisfactory 
to them, on this occasion, at this season of the year, to be called together in 
town meeting.'^ 

In the same year, the town voted bounties to the soldiers, detached in con- 
formity with the act of Congress, March, 30, 1808, as a part of the state's 
quota of 100,000 men, and the Light Infantry again tendered their services. 

On the declaration of war with England, in 1812, an act of Congress au- 
thorized the President to require of the governors of the several states and 
territories, to take effectual measures to arm, organize, and hold in readiness 
to march on the shortest notice, their respective proportions of 100,000 mili- 
tia. Massachusetts was called on to furnish men for the fortresses on the mar- 
itime frontier. The executive declined compliance with the requisitions, on 
the ground of constitutional objections, and the troops of the state were not 
called to the field. The town voted, Nov. 9th, 1812, to allow each soldier de- 
tached, when mustered and ready to march, ten dollars bounty, in addition to 
the wages. Recruiting officers were stationed here, and some of the citizens en- 
listed in the regular army, or entered the navy, and served Avith various fortune. 

In the summer of 1813, several British officers, captured on the northern 
frontier, were quartered here, on parole. Sir George Prevost, commanding in 
Canada, with the sanction of his government, selected from the American pris- 
oners of war, and sent to Great Britain, for trial as criminals, a number of in- 
dividuals, who had emigrated from the king's dominions long previous to the 
war between the two nations, become naturalized, and were taken fighting un- 
der the banners of their adopted country. For the protection of these citi- 
zens, charged with violation of their duties of allegiance to the land of their 
nativity, an equal number of English subjects were ordered into confinement, to 
endure the same fate which might befall those for whom they were hostages. 
The effect of this stern measure of retaliation was, to induce the enemy to com- 
mit to prison two American officers, for every one of the British soldiers confined 
by the President, to suffer death if vindictive punishment should be inflicted on 
the latter. Forty-six British officers, prisoners of war, were immediately placed 
in the prisons, and the Prince Regent was informed of the determination of 

1 The letter is subscribed by Ephraim Mower, Edward Bangs, Nathaniel Harrington, 
Nathan "White, Thomas Nichols, Selectmen, and was published in the National ^Egis, Aug, 
21, 1808. 

136 mauch of light troops. [1814. 

the government to deal with his subjects in the same manner in which our cit- 
izens in captivity should be treated. On the 2d of December, ten of those 
who had resided here,-' on parole, were committed by the marshal of the dis- 
trict, to the jail in Worcester, to abide the issue of this deplorable contest. 
On the 12th of January, nine of these persons succeeded in making their es- 
cape, by overpowering and binding the attendant, who had entered their room 
between 10 and 11 o'clock of the evening, to secure them for the night. The 
turnkey was so loosely confined, that he extiicated himself in about fifteen 
minutes, and communicated information of the flight of the prisoners. Actu- 
al invasion could scarcely have produced greater commotion : the bells were 
rung and cannon fired at midnight. Vigorous search was prosecuted in the 
vicinity, and hot pursuit extended in all directions. In the excitement of the 
time, houses were entered without the formality of warrants, and domiciliary 
visits paid without the justification of judicial process, to detect the supposed 
concealment of the fugitives. About two o'clock the next morning, one of 
the prisoners was apprehended in Holden, nearly exhausted by the labor of 
travelling on foot, in an inclement season, after long confinement : four more 
were apprehended the succeeding evening in Barre ; and four succeeded in 
eluding capture, and reached Quebec in safety. After this event, the prison- 
ers were removed. The returning sense of justice of their own government, 
permitted the liberation of gallant but unfortunate enemies, from the gloomy 
prospect of execution, in accordance with that necessary, but cruel policy, 
which holds the innocent subject to expiate the sins of the sovereign, and 
would have forfeited life to a contested point of international law. 

In the summer of 1814, two companies of militia were drafted from the 
county, and served on the forts in the vicinity of Boston. 

The capture of Washington, the violations of our territory by the British 
forces, the menace of destruction to the cities and .villages of the sea board, 
by the naval commander on the American station, while they spread alarm, 
roused the patriotic spirit of the people to vigorous action. Governor Strong, 
by general orders, September 6, 1814, directed the whole of the militia of 
the state to hold themselves in readiness to march at a moment's warning, and 
called the flank companies of the seventh division into immediate service for 
the defence of the coast. The Worcester Light Infantry and Worcester 
Artillery, commenced their march for the metropolis, on Sunday, September 
14th.^ They Avere stationed at South Boston, and remained in camp until 

1 Lt. Col. William Grant, of the Beauharnois militia : Maj. Charles Villette, Capt. Fran- 
cis Decenta, Lt. David Duvall, Lt. Albert Manuel, of the Waterville regiment : Lt. William 
A. Steel, Adjutant, Lt. Joseph F. Green, Commissary, S9th regiment: Lt. Arthur Carter, 
of the Royal Artillery : Lt. Charles Morris, of the Halifax Volunteers. 

2 The Officers of the Light Infanty were John W. Lincoln, Captain ; Sewall Hamilton, 
Lieutenant ; John Coolidge, Ensign : Of the Artillery, Samuel Graves, Captain ; Simeon 
Hastings, 1st Lieutenant, Nathan Heard, 2d Lieutenant. The forces at South Boston were 
under the command of Major General Joseph Whiton, of Lee. Light companies were de- 
tached from the 1st, 2d, 3d, 4th, 5th, 7th and 9th divisions, and the artillery of the 3d, 
4th, 5th, 7th and 8th divisions, to form the army for the defence of Boston. The troop s 
of the seventh division, including Worcester county, now in the sixth division, were in 
the regiment under Col. Salem Towne, jr., of Charlton. 




the 31st of October following, when they were discharged and returned. On 
the Sabbath following their arrival at their homes, the members of both corps 
attended divine service, in full dress, agreeably to the recommendation of the 
General in command, and offered public acknowledgments for restoration to 
their friends. 

The town voted to procure complete camp equipage for the militia, to be 
kept in readiness for use in actual service, to provide for the families of sol- 
diers where assistance was needed, and to furnish any inhabitant detached, 
with arms and equipments, if unable to procure them himself. 

As the sound of war went through the land, the veterans of the revolution, 
persons exempted from military duty by age or office, and the youth, furmed 
themselves, in many towns of the county, into volunteer corps, and prepared 
to strike for their homes and their rights. The step of an invader on the 
New England soil, would have found her yeomanry as prompt to answer the 
summons to battle, as in the glorious days of old. 

The ratification of the treaty of peace w^as celebrated with festive rejoicing. 
Gen. Lafayette, during his visit to America, in the journey which resem- 
bled a triumphal progress through the land, arrived at Worcester, September 
2d, 1824. He was received on the northern boundary of the town by a dep- 
utation from the committee of the citizens, and escorted by two companies of 
cavalry, a regiment of the light troops of the division, and a great concourse 
of the people of the county. From hoary age to lisping childhood, all were 
eager to manifest affection and respect for the guest of the nation. He pass- 
ed through crowded streets ; between lines of the children of the schools, 
ranged under the care of their teachers, who scattered laurels in his path ; be- 
neath arches inscribed with his own memorable words and with the names of 
the scenes of his signal services ; amidst companions who had borne arms 
with him in the army of independence ; and through the multitudes w^ho had 
gathered from the vicinage to greet the return of the friend of their fathers. 

Abraham Lincoln, Levi Lincoln, and Edward D. Bangs, were elected dele- 
gates to the convention which was convened in 1820, for the amendment of 
the state constitution. Of the articles adopted by this body, November 15, 

1820, and submitted to the people, nine were approved and adopted, April 9, 

1821. The inhabitants of Worcester refused to ratify the 5th article, relating 
to the organization of the council and senate, providing that every town, hav- 
ing a population of 1200, should be entitled to one representative, and es- 
tablishing 1200 as the ratio of increased representation: and the 10th, con- 
cerning the rights and privileges of Harvard College. ^ 

1 The votes of the town on the several amendments were as follows : 







1 . . 

. 106 . . 

. . 99 


. . . . 191 . . 

. . 12 

2 . . 

. . 161 . 

. . . 41 


. . . . 161 . . 

. . 41 

3 . . 

. 177 . 

. . 34 


... 61 . . 

; . 140 

i . . 

. 155 . 

. . 46 


... 161 . . 

. . 41 

B . . 

. 64 . . 

. . 139 

12 . 

... 165 . . 

. . 37 

6 . . 

. 148 . 

. . 39 


... 166 . . 

. . 37 

7 . . 

. 133 . 

. . 70 


... 156 . . 

. . 46 


The amendment numbered as the 10th in the Revised Statutes, changing 
the commencement of the political j^ear from the last Wednesday of May, to 
the first Wednesday of January, adopted by the legislatures of 1829-30, and 
1830-31, was accepted by the people, May 11, 1831. The votes here, were, 
146 for, 11 against. 

The amendment numbered as 11 in the volume referred to, modifying and 
altering the third article of the bill of rights, having passed the legislatures of 
1832, 1833, was accepted by the citizens, Nov. 11, 1833. Two hundred and 
forty six votes were given by the inhabitants of Worcester in the affirmative ; 
fifty five in the negative. 

By his last will, Doct. Isaiah Thomas, devised to the town of Worcester, a 
lot of land on Thomas street, on the conditions, ' that the town should erect, 
within three years from the testator's decease, a Charity House, and pay an- 
nually to the overseers of the poor, twenty dollars, to be appropriated towards 
providing for poor persons who might be there maintained, on thanksgiving 
days, a good and liberal dinner suitable for the occasion, and to furnish on 
that day, half a pint of common but good wine for each person, or a reasona- 
ble quantity of such other liquors as any of them might prefer, that they 
might have the means of participating with their more affluent neighbors in 
some of the essential good things of life bestowed by a bountiful Providence, 
and be enabled to unite in grateful orisons for the peace and felicity of our 
country.' If the whole sum should not be required for the kind purpose in- 
dicated by the donor, the residue was to be expended in the purchase of books 
for the children of poor parents, or otherwise appropriated at the discretion of 
the trustees. The inhabitants, having already provided, at great expense, am- 
ple accommodations for the indigent, although duly appreciating the benevo- 
lent intentions of the testator, were compelled to decline the acceptance of the 
benefaction, Nov. 14, 1831, on the condition imposed of erecting new 

The donation by the same liberal individual, of a lot, extending 172 feet on 
the north side of Thomas street, and 169 feet on Summer street, including the 
ancient burial place, for the erection of a large school house, was accepted, 
and the condition of the bequest complied with, by the completion of a suit- 
able edifice. 

The sum of S2500 was granted by the town, April 21, 1830, to be appro- 
priated for the purchase of the site of the Lunatic Hospital, and given to the 

In the narrative of events in the civil and municipal history of the town, 
notice of the divisions made during the period we have passed, has been reserved 
for the purpose of collecting the territorial changes into a connected view. 

The plantation of Quinsigamond, as originally granted and surveyed, ex- 
tended nearly twelve miles from north to south, and six miles from east to 
west.^ It was designed to include within the boundaries established, the 

1 As stated on the original plan, the north and south lines were 1920 rods each : the 
east line 3815 : the west 3760, The Rev. Mr. Whitney, History of Worcester County, 25, 
eays, ' Worcester ie part of a tract of land called by the aborigines, Quinsigamond : which 


same quantity of land which would have been comprehended in a tract eight 
miles square. Extreme liberality of admeasurement greatly enlarged the pro- 
posed area. In 1684 it was directed, that the whole township should be di- 
vided into 480 lots, 200 to be set off adjoining the northern boundary. A 
line was drawn corresponding with this arrangement, separating the town. 
The north part of the lots long remained unoccupied. In 1722, a meeting of 
the owners, holding as tenants in common, was convened by the warrant of 
Stephen Minot, Esq., and a distinct proprietary erected, called North Worces- 
ter. It was determined to make partition of the lands : surveys were com- 
menced ia 1724 : tracts were reserved for public uses : and grants to settlers 
registered. It was provided, that Col. Adam Winthrop, ' for his good ser- 
vices done the town, shall have the first pitch.' The planters, in 1730, were 
exempted from town rates in the south part, for seven years, on condition of 
making and maintaining their own highways. The town voted, in 1740, to 
consent to the incorporation, ' if it be the pleasure of the Great and General 
Court, in consideration of the great distance from the place of public worship.' 

An act of the Legislature, giving corporate powers, passed November 2, 
1740, and North Worcester became a town, by the name of Holden, in honor 
of the lion. Samuel Holden, a director of the Bank of England, whose ele- 
vated character and beneficent exertions to promote the interests of literature 
and religion, well merited the token of respectful and grateful recollection. 
The first town meeting was held. May 4, 1741. 

Between Worcester and that part of Sutton now Grafton, a tract of land 
intervened, called the Country Gore, beyond the jurisdiction of either munic- 
ipality. The owners and inhabitants of this territory petitioned to be annex- 
ed to Worcester. It was voted, March 3, 1743, ' that the town cheerfully ac- 
cept of this offer, and pray they be joined to, and for the future be accounted 
as a part of the town of Worcester, to do duty and enjoy equal privileges 
with us, if it may be consistent Avith the wisdom of the Great and General 
Court to grant their request.' A resolve of Massachusetts, Ajril 5, 1743, 
united the petitioners and their estates to this town.-^ 

Another accession of inhabitants was gained, June 2, 1758, when James 
Hart, Thomas Beard, James Wallis, and Jonathan Stone were set off from 

The slight additions to population Avere more than balanced by another dis- 

territory was esteemed by them to bound, easterly partly on Quinsigamond pond and part- 
ly on Hassanamisco, now Grafton : southerly, on the Nipnet or Nipmug country, where 
Oxford and some adjacent towns now are : westerly on Quaboag, now Brookfield, and lands 
in that vicinity ; and northerly on Nashawog, now Lancaster, Sterling, &c.' No evidence 
now remains to verify the assertion that Worcester yras pari of this territory. On the con- 
trary, all the memorials which exist at this day, show that the aboriginal name was ap- 
plied to the waters of the lake and the country immediately adjacent, and that it was bor- 
rowed by the committee of settlement, and bestowed upon the plantation, afterwards Wor- 
cester. The venerable father of county history was mistaken in Indian geography, when 
he limited the Nipmug country to the southern towns. The best authorities declare that 
its boundaries were much wider. 

1 The petitioners were, John Barber, Thomas Richardson, Daniel Boyden, Jonas Wood- 
ard, Ephraim Curtis, Jabez Totman, Matthias Rice, Timothy Green. 


memberment. June 23, 1773, a precinct was erected, extending three miles 
into Worcester, three into Oxford, three into Leicester, and one mile and a 
half into Sutton, measured from the place designated for the new meeting 
house, along the roads then travelled. This district, Avhich was denominated 
the South Parish of Worcester, was incorporated, April 10, 1778, as the town 
of Ward, receiving its name from Artemas Ward, Esq., a brave general of the 
revolution, member of the Council of the Provincial Congress, judge of the 
-County Courts, and representative in Congress. About thirty families were 
thus separated from Worcester. The boundaries of the parish and new town 
were nearly, though not precisely, coincident. The act provided, that certain 
individuals, included by the latter, but not within the limits of the former, 
might retain their relations to the towns of their original settlement, until it 
was their pleasure to express, in writing, intention to unite Avlth the new cor- 
poration. Ten persons,^ by this exception, were permitted to continue their 
former connections. In 1826, Thaddeus Chapin and ten others petitioned 
the Legislature to reannex the territory in which their estates Avere situated to 
Worcester ; their request was refused : and this town still has citizens exer- 
cising rights and subject to duties within the lines of Ward. 

The erection of a precinct, and the incorporation of ^ town, were strenuous- 
ly resisted. Long and earnest remonstrances opposed the proceedings in each 
stage, and the separation was effected by persevering efforts, renewed and 
pressed in successive years. 

In 1785, a petition of James Ball and others was presented to the General 
Court, praying for the erection of a new county, of which Petersham should 
be the shire town. Hardwick, Barre, Hubbardston, Petersham, Templeton, 
Winchendon, Athol, and Royalston, were to be separated from the county of 
Worcester, and Warwick, Wendell, New Salem, Shutesbury, the district of 
Orange, and Greenwich, from Hampshire. Orders of notice were issued, but 
the proposition shared the fate of similar projects to diminish the integrity of 
our territory, 

A memorial of the delegates of Templeton, Barre, Petersham, Athol, 
Winchendon, Hubbardston, Oakham, Gerry, Gardner, Royalston, and War- 
wick, at the January session of the Legislature in 1798, prayed for the incor- 
poration of those towns into a new county. The people, in April, voted that 
it was inexpedient to divide Worcester into two distinct counties. 

At the annual meetings in April, 1828, the question was submitted, by the 
Legislature, to the people of Worcester and Middlesex, shall a new county be 
formed of the towns of Royalston, Winchendon, Athol, Templeton, Gardner, 
Westminster, Ashburnham, Fitchburg, Leominster, Lunenburg, Princeton, 
Hubbardston, Philipston, Lancaster, Bolton, and Harvard, from the county 
of Worcester ; Groton, Shirley, Pepperell, Ashby, and Townsend, from the 
county of Middlesex, as was prayed for in a petition bearing the name of Ivers 
Jewett at the head ? The decision was in the negative, by a great majority of 
the voters. 

1 Samuel Curtis, Mary Bigelow, "William Elder, Daniel Bigelow, John Elder, Jonathan 
Fiske, Benjamin Chapin, Eli Chapin, Joseph Clark, Moses Bancroft, 




First Parish. First meeting houses. Rev. Andrew Gardner. DifBculties on his dismis- 
sion. Mr. Bourne. Rev. Isaac Burr. Visit of Whitefield. Church Covenant, 1746. 
Bev. Thaddeus Maccarty. Controversy about Church music. Seating the meeting 
house. Difficulties ending in the separation of the Second Parish. Mr. Story. Rev. 
Samuel Austin. Church Covenant. Rev. Charles A. Goodrich. Rev. Aretius B. Hull. 
Kev. Rodney A. Miller. Presbyterian Church, 1719. Rev. Edward Fitzgerald. Rev. 
William Johnston. 

No records of the early days of the church in Worcester have descended to 
our times. The knowledge possessed in relation to its organization and pro- 
ceedings, previous to 1722, is derived from tradition. Subsequent to that 
period, some information of the prominent events in our ecclesiastical history, 
may be collected from the votes of the inhabitants concurrent with the acts of 
the church : for it was the ancient usage of all our towns, before they had 
been divided into parishes, to manage their parochial concerns in the general 

The committee of grantees, in their covenant with the first planters, provi- 
ded, that care should be taken to procure a teacher of morality and religion, 
as soon as might be ; and until regular instruction should be obtained, directed, 
that the Lord's day should be sanctified, by assembling together for devotional 
exercises. Liberal grants of land were made for the support of the ministry, 
and a lot appropriated for the first learned, pious, and orthodox teacher of 

Meetings for worship were held at the dwelling houses most convenient in 
regard to central situation. Each man repaired to the assembly with his gun, 
and joined in the peaceful exercises as completely armed as if prepared for 
instant military service.^ Sentinels were stationed around to give warning of 
approaching danger. The well-known custom of the Indians, whose prowl- 
ing bands selected the rest of the Sabbath, in many instances, for their mur- 
derous invasions, rendered vigilance and precaution necessary for safety. Tra- 
dition relates, that the devotions of the planters were sometimes disturbed by 
alarms of the coming foe. On one occasion, an arrow, directed against the 
dwelling where they had assembled, entered the loop hole which served for 
window. The protecting Providence of God averted its point from his ser- 
vants, and gliding over the congregation, it struck deep in the timbers of the 
opposite wall. 

1 In 1675, the colony court ordered, ' that every man that comes to meeting on the Lord's 
day, bring with him his arms with at least six charges of powder and shot : also, that 
whosoever shall shoot off a gun, at any game whatsoever, except at an Indiao. or a wolf, 
shall forfeit 6s. on such default until further order.' 

142 riRST PAKiSH. [1719. 

Soon after the last permanent settlement, a church was gathered, and Dea- 
cons Daniel Heywood, and Nathaniel Moore, elected its officers. 

A plain and rude structure of logs was erected for the public meetings of 
the inhabitants, in 1717, eastward from the Baptist meeting house, at the 
junction of Franklin and Green streets, and was occupied during a few years 
for worship. 

In 1719, a more spacious and commodious house was commenced, on the 
common, near the site of the present edifice. 

In the autumn of the same year, the Rev. Andrew Gardner, ordained as 
the first settled minister of the Gospel, formed that connection with the town, 
terminating in acrimonious controversy, and embittering the harmony of the 
people of his charge. On his settlement, a gratuity of £60 was voted. The 
amount of salary can only be inferred from the fact, that in 1722, taxes 
of £40, of the then currency, were levied, for support of public wor- 
ship in that year. Difficulties between the church and pastor soon arose. 
Complaints, probably reasonable, were made by him of neglect in the pay- 
ment of his annual stipend, and of refusal to discharge the grant made on 
his acceptance of the office. He was accused of remissness in the perform- 
ance of duty, and of too ardent love for the chase of the deer, and the sports 
of the hunter. The dissatisfaction so much increased, that some, who had 
united in the invitation to Mr. Gardner, withdrew from attendance on his 
preaching, and declined contributing to his maintenance. Petitions were pre- 
sented to the Legislature for direction and relief, but without effect. In Sep- 
tember, 1721, an ecclesiastical council was convened from seven churches : 
but its result was ineff'ectual for the settlement of the unhappy difi"erences 
which existed. Recourse Avas afterwards had to other advisers, with as little 
beneficial influence. New petitions having been presented, a resolve was 
passed by the General Court, June 14th, 1722, ' that it be earnestly recom- 
mended to that council only of the seven churches which did meet at Wor- 
cester, in September, 1721, to whom the contending parties submitted their 
differences, relating to the Rev. Andrew Gardner, that the said council pro- 
ceed and go to Worcester, on or before the first Wednesday of September 
next, to finish what is further necessary to be done for the procuring and 
establishing of peace in the said town, according to the submission of the 

On the 10th of August following, the inhabitants represented, ' that the 
elders and messengers of the several churches, appointed to meet at Worces- 
ter, for deciding the differences in that church, decline going thither by reason 
of the rupture with the Indians, it being a frontier place : it was therefore 
recommended that the ministers meet at Dedham, for the affair aforesaid.' 

The council met, pursuant to this direction, and after mature deliberation, 
advised that the relations of Mr. Gardner be dissolved, ' his temporal interest 
being secured,' and on the 31st of October, 1722, he was dismissed from the 
ministerial office in Worcester. Soon after, a suit at law was instituted by 
Mr. Gardner, for the arrears of salary. The irritation occasioned by the long 
controversy was increased by this unfriendly act at parting, and a vote was 

1724.] FIRST PAHISH. 143 

passed, against the remonstrance and protest of many of the elder inhabitants, 
not to allow the grant of sixty pounds formerly bestowed as a gratuity, which 
he had ' left (o the generosity of the town.' An accommodation was at 
length effected by mutual arbitrators. 

The Rev. Andrew Gardner was a native of Brookline, Mass., and graduated 
at Harvard University, 1712. His name is last on the list of the class, in the 
period when the pupils of the venerable institution at Cambridge were 
entered on its catalogue according to the honors and station in society of the 
parents. After his removal from Worcester, he was installed as the first 
minister of Lunenburg, Mass., May 15, 1728. This connection was as unfor- 
tunate in its termination as his earlier engagement. He was dismissed, Feb- 
ruary 7, 1731-2, 'because,' says the Rev. Mr. Adams, 'he was unworthy.' 
Mr. Gardner then retired to one of the towns on Connecticut river, where he 
died at an advanced age.^ 

The errors of Mr. Gardner seem to have been more of the head than heart. 
Eccentricities, resulting from secluded habits, and ignorance of the ways of 
the world, united with that independence of spirit regardless of its opinions, 
diminished his usefulness. Less mindful of clerical dignity than of the exhi- 
bition of wit in its practical sports, the strict sense of propriety was some- 
times shocked by acts in themselves innocent. Tradition relates, as illustra- 
tive of manner, that he once secretly substituted a large stone for the better 
food in the pot of a friend who had invited him to dine, and consoled himself 
for the loss of his dinner, by the gratification of witnessing the astonishment 
created by the appearance of the unusual dish of boiled granite. Whatever 
imperfections marred his reputation, his benevolence and charity should be 
permitted to spread their mantle over his errors. Pecuniary embarrassment 
sometimes arose from generosity that would not hesitate to count cost. An 
instance of its extent is preserved : A poor parishioner having solicited aid 
in circumstances of distress, the clergyman gave away his only pair of shoes 
for his relief, and as this was done on Saturday, appeared the next day in his 
stockings, at the desk, to perform the morning service, and, in the evening, 
officiated in borrowed slippers, a world too wide for his slender members.^ 

January 6, 1724, an invitation was given to the Rev. Shearjashub Bourne 
to become the minister of the town, with a settlement of £100, and a salary 
of £75 for five years, afterwards to be raised to £80, Although the offer was 
declined, he continued to preach for a few months. 

This gentleman was the son of Hon. Melatiah Bourne, of Sandwich, and 
descended from the first emigrant to that town. He graduated at Harvard 
College in 1720, and was married to Abigail, the daughter of Rev. Richard 
Cotton of Sandwich. He was ordained in Scituate, Mass. Dec. 1724. His 
health becoming impaired by paralytic affections, he was dismissed in 1761. 
From an inscription on the head stone over a grave in the east burial place in 
Roxbury, it appears that he died there, Aug. 14, 1768, aged 69.^ His char- 
acter is briefly delineated in the following lines on the time-worn monument. 

1 Whitney's History of Worcester County, 144, 150. ^ Relation of Mr. Daniel Goulding. 
' MSS. of Samuel Jennison, Esq. Town Records. 2 Hist. Col. iv. 234. 

144 EEV. ISAAC BURR. [1725. 

' Cautious himself, he others ne'er deceived, 
Lived as he taught, and taught as he believed.' 

Between the dismission of Mr, Gardner and the settlement of his successor, 
the Rev. Samuel Jennison, son of Hon. William Jennison of Worcester, who 
died in that part of Sudbury now Wayland, October 14, 1729, aged 29, Mr. 
Fitzgerald, and Mr. Richardson, were employed to preach occasionally. The 
sum of £2. 3s. was paid to them for the services of the sabbath. 

On the 24th of August, 1724, the church elected the Rev. Thomas White 
to be their pastor : the town, however, did not concur in the choice, but ap- 
pointed a committee, ' to address Mr. White for his further assistance in the 
work of the gospel.' He was afterwards ordained minister of the first church 
in Bolton, Conn. Oct. 25, 1725, where he died, Feb. 22, 1763. 

Soon after, the Rev. Isaac Burr was engaged to supply the pulpit, and on 
the 10th of February, 1725, was invited to assume the sacred office, with a 
settlement of 200 pounds in money, or the value in land, and the annual sal- 
ary of 80 pounds. The call having been accepted, he was ordained on the 
13th of October following. The churches in Hartford, Framingham, Marl- 
borough, Lancaster, Leicester, Sudbury, Weston, and Shrewsbury, were re- 
quested to render their assistance at the ceremony ; and the sum often pounds 
was appropriated for the entertainment of the elders, messengers, and dele- 
gates attending. 

The ministry of Mr. Burr was long, and peaceful, until near its close. The 
votes in relation to pecuniary supplies, evince the cordial regard of his parish- 
ioners. The taxes not being regularly paid, it was voted, September 25, 
1727, 'That the inhabitants contribute, once a month, on the Lord's day, af- 
ter divine service, for the support of the minister, until a rate can properly be 
made ; each person to paper up his money, and subscribe his name on the pa- 
per ; so that an account may be taken of each person's money, to be allowed 
on his rate, when made.' The paper currency of the province, having depre- 
ciated in the fluctuations which diversify its history, frequent voluntary con- 
tributions were made for the minister. In answer to the petition of Mr. Burr, 
it was voted, October 24, 1732, ' that the town cheerfully grant him £20, and 
earnestly desire he would lay the same out in purchasing an addition to his li- 
brary.' Successive grants of money were made, as is expressed, ' to encour- 
age him.' The salary had been raised to £140, in bills of credit. The in- 
stability and depreciation of this medium, rendered a more certain standard 
of compensation necessary. In 1741, the inhabitants voted, ' to make his sal- 
ary equal to what money was at the time of his settlement, having regard to 
the difference between silver and paper:' 29 shillings of the latter being es- 
timated as equivalent to an ounce of the former. 

The celebrated Whitefield, whose splendid eloquence seemed almost the 
gift of inspiration, controlling the judgment, and swaying the feelings of men 
at pleasure, went through New England, during his second visit, preaching to 
congregations gathering by the acre, beneath the open sky, in numbers no 
house could contain. On his way to New York, this powerful exhorter ar- 
rived in Worcester, Oct. 14, 1740, accompanied by Gov. Belcher, whose mind 


had been deeply impressed by the glowing elocution which had roused thou- 
sands. The account of their reception is in Whitefield's continuation of the 
journal of his evangelical labors. 

' 1740. Tuesday, Oct. 14. Got to Marlborough, eight miles from Sudbury, 
about 4 : preached in the meeting house, to a large congregation. At first, 
my heart was dead, and I had little freedom ; but before I had finished, the 
word came, with such a demonstration of the spirit, that great numbers were 
much melted down. When I came into the meeting house, I turned about, 
and, to my surprise, found Gov. Belcher there. He was afi'ected, and though 
it rained, and he was much advanced in years, yet he went with us as far as 
Worcester, 15 miles from Marlborough, whither we got about 8, at night. 
Here we were kindly entertained, at the house of Col. Chandler. We spent 
the remainder of the evening very agreeably, with the governor, and after 
prayer, retired to rest. Oh, that I may approve myself a disciple of that mas- 
ter, who, while tabernacling here on earth, had not where to lay his head. 

' Wednesday, Oct. 15. Perceived the governor to be more afi'ectionate than 
ever. After morning prayer, he took me by myself, kissed me, wept, and ex- 
horted me to go on stirring up the ministers ; ' for,' said he, ' reformation must 
begin at the house of God.' As we were going to meeting, says he, ' Mr. 
Whitefield, do not spare me any more than the ministers ; no, not the chief 
of them.' I preached in the open air, on the common, to some thousands ; 
the word fell with weight indeed ; it carried all before it. After sermon, the 
governor said to me, ' I pray God I may apply what has been said to my own 
heart. Pray, Mr. Whitefield, that I may hunger and thirst after righteous- 
ness.' Dinner being ended, with tears in his eyes he kissed and took leave 
of me. Oh, that we may meet in heaven. I have observed that I have had 
greater power than ordinary whenever the governor has been at public wor- 
ship. A sign, I hope, that the Most High intends effectually to bring him 

home and place him at his right hand Was enabled much to rejoice 

in spirit Preached at Leicester, in the afternoon, 6 miles from Wor- 
cester, with some, though not so much power as in the morning.' 

The health of Mr. Burr having become impaired, and differences having 
arisen, he was desirous of relinquishing the office he had held during twenty 
years. In Nov. 1744, a mutual council was convened. The result, advising 
separation, met with the almost unanimous acquiescence of church and parish, 
and Mr. Burr was dismissed, in March, 1745. 

The Pvev. David Hall, of Sutton, seems to have been instrumental in origi- 
nating the difficulties which led to the dismission of Mr. Burr. The follow- 
ing passages from his diary, ^ throw much light on the subject. Dr. Hall was 
a follower of Whitefield. 

' Jan. 22, 1742, O. S. Preached this week twice at Worcester, in private 
houses. Mr. Burr gave his consent before I went : but seemed not pleased 
at my coming, as I was informed. I am grieved at my heart, to observe the 
violent opposition made against the work of God in the land, by those that 
are called his servants. But this I know, that wherein they deal proudly, the 

1 American Antiquarian Society's MSS. 

146 FIRST PAKI8H. [1744. 

Lord is above them. I find much deadness of heart, for the most part : but 
when preaching the blessed gospel, my soul hath, of late, by times, felt all on 
fire : and I humbly trust the fire is from God's altar. ' Feb. 7. I am in great 
concern about religious matters, Mr. Burr of Worcester, refusing the urgent 
request of some people of Worcester, to hear me preach again with them. 
God seems to have blessed my poor labors lately among them, for the awaken- 
ing of some of them. But oh ! the prejudice of Mr. B. who is, I fear, too 
much a stranger to the power of godliness, or otherwise, surely, he would re- 
joice in having his people in concern about their souls, and in the help of such 
ministers as wish their salvation. Oh that the Lord would forgive him and 
open his eyes, and strengthen me, his poor unworthy Avorm, to be valiant in 
following the rules of my dear Redeemer. 

'Nov. 30, 1744. This week Mr. Burr and the church part, under the di- 
rection of a council. The Lord stir up ministers to faithfulness by such prov- 

Mr. Bliss of Concord, one of the most distinguished of the clergy, who, in 
that day, were denominated ne\o lights, occasionally preached to the separatists 
at Worcester, ' where he had been requested by a multitude of souls,' in the 
bold, zealous, and impassioned style he had adopted.-^ 

The Rev. Isaac Burr, a graduate of Yale College, in 1717, was born in 
Fairfield, Conn, in 1698, and descended from an ancient family. His father, 
Hon. Peter Burr, of Harvard College, 1690, was in the magistracy from 1703, 
twenty one years ; judge of Probate for Fairfield county ; judge of the Supe- 
rior Court of Connecticut, from the first establishment in 1711, to 1717, and 
from 1722 to his death, Dec. 25, 1724.^ After his dismission, Mr. Burr re- 
moved from Worcester to Windsor in Vermont. 

The difficulty experienced in procuring a successor to Mr. Burr is apparent 
from the instructions of the town to the committee appointed to supply the 
pulpit. Dec. 1744, they were directed ' to intercede with the reverend Elders 
of the late council to preach, each one day.' March, 1745, they were charged 
' to use their utmost endeavor that the town be not destitute of preaching on 
the Lord's day ; to procure Mr. Townsend if to be had ; if not, to consult 
with the Rev. President Holyoke, of Harvard College, Professor Appleton, 
and Dr. Wigglesworth, who to engage in a probationary way.' In May, they 
were desired to procure two more gentlemen for the same purpose, with the 
advice of the Rev. President and Professors ; and it was voted, ' that when 
they had been heard, the church should proceed to the choice from th-em and the 
three gentlemen who had already preached, Mr. Stephens, Mr. Marsh, and Mr. 
Phillips, and that the town will hear no more persons before a choice is made.' 

On the 29th of August, 1745, Mr. Nathaniel Gardner of Harvard College, 
1739, received an invitation to settle on a salary of £60 in bills of credit, 

1 Shattuck's Hist, of Concord, 175. 
2 The Rev. Aaron Burr, born in Fairfield, 1714, of Yale College, 1735, the learned Pres- 
ident of the College at Princeton in New Jersey, was son of Judge Peter Burr. He died 
17o7,a<'ed 43, leaving one daughter, who married the Hon. Tappan Reeves, a distinguished 
jurist, and one son, tha celebrated Aaron Burr, late Vice President of the United States. 
MSS. Letter of Rev. Dr. Harris. 

1746.] CHURCH COVENANT. 147 

and with a gratuity of £100 of the same currency, which was declined. 

In the state of uncertainty and doubt which prevailed, it was voted to re- 
quest the Rev. Mr. Peabody, and Mr. Rogers of Littleton, to assist ' in carry- 
ing on a day of fasting and prayer, Feb. 28, 1746, to implore the divine di- 
rection in the church's leading in the choice of a person to be ordained* On 
the 9th of May following, unanimous and earnest desire was expressed, that 
the Rev. Mr. Appleton of Cambridge, Mr. Williams of Waltham, and Mr. 
Turell of Medford, give their best advice, ' who they may judge proper to 
hear in order for a gentleman's being settled among us in case he can be ob- 
tained ; and to advise whether all those male persons who are in full commun- 
ion with other churches, and have removed hither, should be permitted to vote 
in the choice, provided there be no just objection.' A committee was dele- 
gated to wait on the selected advisers, ' and desire they would condescend to 
serve us herein.' In the interval between asking and obtaining counsel, hav- 
ing arrived (^ t conclusions of their own, the opinions they had formed were 
adopted instead of those they obtained ; on the 17th of October, ' the vote was 
put, whether the church would adhere to the advice of the Rev. Mr. Apple- 
ton, Mr. Williams, and Mr. Turell, and it passed in the negative.'^ 

The following covenant, prepared by the Rev. Mr. Campbell of Oxford, and 
the Rev. Mr. Stone of Southborough, was adopted, Sept. 22, 1746, and af- 
terwards subscribed by fifty members of the church.^ 

* We, whose names are hereunto subscribed, being inhabitants of the town 
of Worcester, in New England, knowing that we are very prone to offend 
and provoke God, Most High, both in heart and life, through the prevalency 
of sin that dwelleth in us, and the manifold temptations from without us, for 
which we have great reason to be unfeignedly humble before him, from day 
to day, do, in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, with depend- 
ence upon the gracious assistance of his Holy Spirit, solemnly enter into 
covenant with God, and with one another, according to his holy direction, as 
follows ; 

' First : That having chosen and taken the Lord Jehovah, Father, Son, and 
Holy Spirit, to be our God, we will fear him, cleave to him in love, and serve 
him in truth, with all our hearts, giving up ourselves to him, to be his people, 
in all things to be at his direction and sovereign disposal, that we may have 
and hold communion with him, as members of Christ's mystical body, accord- 
ing to his revealed will, to our lives' end. 

' Secondly : We bind ourselves to bring up our children and servants, in 
the knowledge and fear of God, by his instructions, according to our best 
abilities, and, in special, by orthodox catechisms, viz. the Assembly's at 
Westminster larger and shorter catechisms, that the true religion may be 
maintained in our families while we live ; yea, and among such as shall sur- 
vive us, when we are dead and gone. 

1 Sept. 22, 1740. It was voted ' that the church will esteem it an offence, if any member 
there f, shall hereafter countenance itinerant preachers.' 

2 Church Records of Rev. Mr. Maccartj. 

l48 riKST PARISH. [1746. 

' Thirdly : We furthermore promise, to keep close to the truth of Christ, 
endeavoring with lively affections of it in our hearts, to defend it against all 
opposers thereof, as God shall call us at any time thereunto ; which, that we 
may do, we resolve to use the Holy Scriptures as our directory, whereby we 
may discern the mind and will of Christ, and not the new found inventions of 

' Fourthly : We also engage ourselves, to have a careful inspection over 
our hearts, so as to endeavor, by virtue of the death of Christ, the mortifica- 
tion of our sinful passions, worldly frames, and disorderly affections, whereby 
we may be withdrawn from the living God. 

' Fifthly : We furthermore oblige ourselves, in the faithful improvement of 
all our abilities and opportunities, to worship God, according to the particular 
institutions of Christ for his church, under gospel administrations ; to give a 
reverent attention to the word of God ; to pray unto him ; to sing his praises ; 
and to hold communion with one another, in the use of both the sacraments 
of the New Testament, viz. Baptism and the Lord's supper. 

' Sixthly : We likewise promise, that we will submit ourselves unto the 
holy discipline appointed by Christ in his church, for offenders, obeying, 
according to the will of God, them that rule over us in the Lord. 

' Seventhly : We also bind ourselves, to walk in love one towards another, 
endeavoring our mutual edification, visiting, exhorting, comforting, as occa- 
sion serveth, any brother or sister which offends ; not divulging private offen- 
ces irregularly, but heedfully following the several precepts laid down by 
Christ for church discipline, in xviii. of Matthew, 15, 16, 17,; willingly for- 
giving all that manifest, unto the judgment of charity, that they truly repent 
of all their miscarriages. 

' Now, the God of peace, which brought again from the dead our Lord and 
Savior Jesus Christ, the Great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of 
the everlasting covenant, make us all perfect in every good word and work, to 
do his will, working in us that Avhich is well pleasing in his sight, through 
Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. 

' Worcester, Sept. 22, 1746. This church this day renewed covenant with 
God and with one another, and unanimously signified their assent to the 
above-written instrument, declaring, at the same time, their readiness to sub- 
scribe the same, at the next meeting of the church. Present, at their desire, 
John Prentice, Pastor of Lancaster, John Campbell, Pastor of Oxford.' 

In the period of nearly two years, subsequent to the dismission of Mr. 
Burr, many candidates were heard. Among them, the son of Rev. Mr. Wil- 
liams of Lebanon, the son of Rev. Mr. Williams of Springfield, Mr. Brown, 
Mr. Emerson, Mr. Marsh, Mr. Benjamin Stevens, Mr. Walley, Mr. Lawrence 
of Groton. were invited to officiate. On the 17th of October, 1746, the com- 
mittee were instructed, to request the Rev. Thaddeus Maccarty of Boston, 
and the Rev. Jonathan Mayhew of Martha's Vineyard, afterwards pastor of 
the West Church in Boston, and distinguished as one of the most intrepid 
champions of civil and religious liberty, and ablest divines of New England, 
to preach four sabbaths each. 


On the 27th of November, 1746, Mr. Maccarty preached his first sermon, 
on the public annual thanksgiving, and continued to officiate very acceptably, 
until the day was fixed for the election of a minister, on the 19th of January, 

The sabbath preceding the determination between the candidates, Mr. 
Mayhew, who had previously been heard by the people, officiated in the fore- 
noon, and Mr. Maccarty performed the afternoon service. The latter was 
elected, by 42 of the 44 votes given by the church : three- only dissented, in 
town meeting, on the question of concurrence. On the 10th of June, 1747, 
he was installed as pastor of the religious society. The introductory prayer 
at the ordination was off"ered by Rev. John Campbell of Oxford : the sermon 
was preached by Mr. Maccarty himself; from I Thess. ii. 13, and afterwards 
published. Rev. Mr. Williams of Weston, delivered the charge, and Rev, 
Mr. Cotton of Newton, gave the right hand of fellowship. The concluding 
prayer was by Rev. Mr. Appleton of Cambridge. After singing Psalm 
Ixxviii. 2 to 7 verses, the benediction was pronounced by Mr. Maccarty.^ 

The town voted a salary of £100 in last emission money, ' having special 
regard to the small value of bills of credit, but if the future circumstances of 
Mr. Maccarty's family should call for it, they would cheerfully and willingly 
make him such further addition as may be judged proper from time to time.' 
From 1750 to 1759, the annual stipend was 80 pounds, in lawful money. 
After the latter year, the sum of 20 pounds was bestowed by the name of 

On the 23d of March, 1747, the inhabitants voted to raise the sum of £300, 
and appointed a committee to make sale of 100 acres of the ministerial lands 
in the town, for the purpose of purchasing a parsonage. A resolve of the 
General Court, passed June 3, 1747, authorized the sale, provided the proceeds 
were invested in real estate for the use of the ministry. The house of Dr. 
Samuel Breck, situated on the common, south east from the meeting house, 
was purchased for £187. 10s. and conveyed, by deed dated Sept. 25, 1747, 
with about two acres of land adjoining, to John Chandler, treasurer, to and 
for the use of the town. This property was granted to Mr. Maccarty, on his 
release of all expenses for repairs, and conveyed March 4th, 1765. 

The history of these transactions, has, unfortunately, become matter of 
judicial record;'^ a suit having been instituted, April 30th, 1814, by Rev. 
Samuel Austin, to recover, in right of the parish, the tract of land from the 
tenant, claiming under the conveyance of the executors of Mr. Maccarty, in 
which it was finally determined that the deed of the town, in its parochial 
capacity, passed no title, and a judgment was rendered for the demandant, 
afterwards released by the Parish. 

On the commencement of the revolution, which Mr. Maccarty had promoted 
by his influence, although feeling the pressure of declining years, and having 
a numerous family dependent upon him, he relinquished a portion of his 

The feebleness of Mr. Maccarty prevented his regular performance of cler- 

1 First Church's Records, i. 1. > U Mass. Reports, 333. Austin vs. Thomas. 


ical duties during the last years of his life. His long and useful ministry of 
37 years was closed by death, July 20, 1784. 

The Rev. Thaddeus Maccarty, son of Capt. Thaddeus Maccarty, an exper- 
ienced commander and skillful navigator in the merchant service, was born in 
Boston, 1721. Early destined to a seafaring life, he accompanied his father 
in several voyages,-^ but the delicateness of his constitution, rendered him 
unable to endure the hardships and exposure of the ocean, and his attention 
was directed to the more quiet pursuits of a profession. His preparatory 
studies were in the town school of Boston, and he graduated at Harvard Col- 
lege, in 1739. 

Soon after completing his theological education, he received and accepted 
an invitation to settle in Kingston, in Plymouth county, where he was ordained 
as the pastor of that town, Nov. 3, 1742. At the expiration of three years, 
the connection was dissolved, under peculiar circumstances. The enthusiastic 
eloquence of VVhitefield had stirred up the slumbering spirit of piety, and 
his bold attacks on the regular clergy, alarmed the friends of the church. 
The unguarded bitterness of expressions, and the neglect of conciliatory policy 
on the part of that celebrated itinerant, changed mere disapprobation of his 
measures into determined hostility. The inhabitants of Kingston, apprehen- 
sive of the disturbance of their peace by his visit, and fearful of his power to 
excite commotion, appointed a committee, Jan. 29, 1745, to prevent the intru- 
sion of roving exhorters An unfounded report was circulated that Mr. Mac- 
carty, who was supposed to be attached to Whitefield, then in Plymouth, had 
invited him to preach the sacramental lecture. Much excitement arose, and 
effectual care was taken to prevent the exercises of the obnoxious individual, 
by closing and fastening the meeting house, nailing the doors, and covering 
the windows with boards. Mr. Maccarty. indignant at the personal insult and 
violation of his rights, omitted attending at the time appointed for the lecture, 
and immediately asked dismission. A council was convened, and, although, it 
is said, he had become desirous of withdrawing his request, it was granted, 
against his wishes, and the result, advising separation, accepted by the town. 
On the 3d of November, 1745, three years to a day from his ordination, he 
preached a farewell sermon, from the appropriate text, Acts xx. 31. ' There- 
fore watch, and remember that by the space of three years, 1 ceased not to 
warn every one, night and day, with tears. And now, brethren, I commend 
you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and 
to give you an inheritance among all them that are sanctified.' A copy of the 
discourse was left in Kingston, and sixty years after the delivery, and long 
after the decease of the author, it was published, with a preface, containing a 
brief statement of the transaction, and remarks reproachful to the people of 

His character is faithfully delineated in the following inscription on the 
monument erected to his memory. 

' Beneath this stone are deposited the remains of the Rev. Thaddeus Mac- 

1 MS. note on-a sermon, in hand writing of Rev. Mr. Maccarty. 
2 2 Mass. Hist. Coll. iii. 209. 

1784.] FIRST PARISH. 151 

carty, for thirty seven years pastor of the church in Worcester. Through the 
course of his ministry, he uniformly exhibited an example of the peaceable 
and amiable virtues of Christianity. Under a slow and painful decline, he 
discovered an ardent love to his master, by a cheerful attention to his service, 
and at the approach of death, he patiently submitted, in the full hope of a 
glorious resurrection from the grave. In testimony of his fidelity, the people 
of his charge erect this monument. Obiit, July 20, 1784, yEtatis 63.' 

Mr. Maccarty was tall in stature : in person slender and thin, with a dark 
and penetrating eye : a distinct and sonorous, though somewhat harsh-toned 
voice. His address was impressive and solemn. In sentiment he was strictly 
calvinistic :^ in politics decided and firm, ranking however with the moderate 
whigs. His printed sermons are more characterized by judicious thought, 
good sense, and piety, than elegance or eloquence. After preaching a con- 
vention sermon, a contemporary clergyman remarked, that he had never heard 
him preach either a very low, or a very brilliant discourse.^ 

1 President John Adams, in a letter to the Rev. Dr. Bancroft, says ; ' when I removed to 
Worcester, in 1735, I found that county hot with controversy betweeen the parties of Mr. 
Buckminster and Mr. Mellen. I became acquainted with Dyer, Doolittle, and Baldwin, 
three notable disputants. Mr. Maccarty, though a calvinist, was not a bigot, but the town 
was a scene of disputes all the time I lived there.' Mass. Spy, April 23, 1823. 

Joseph Dyer, attorney and merchant, Ephraim Doolittle, merchant and afterward colonel 
of a regiment, Nathan Baldwin, Register of Deeds, were all deists. Of the two former, 
some notice will be found in succeeding pages. The latter was an ardent politician, and 
the author of many of the addresses and documents of our revolutionary annals. He 
died at Worcester, July 21, 1784. 

^ The following list contains all the publications of Mr. Maccarty. 1. Farewell sermon, 

• preached at Kingston, Nov. 3, 1745, printed, Boston, 180-i. 2. The success of the preached 
gospel matter to faithful ministers of continual thankfulness to God : sermon at the au- 
thor's installation to the pastoral office in Worcester, June 10, 1747. 1 Thes. xi. 13. 3. 
The advice of Joab to the Host of Israel going forth to war, considered and urged : in two 
discourses delivered in Worcester, April 5, 1769, being the day of the annual fast, and 
the day preceding the general muster of the militia throughout the province for the enlist- 
ing soldiers for the intended expedition against Canada. 4. The power and grace of 
Christ displayed to a dying malefactor: sermon, Oct. 20, 17G8, the day of the execution of 
Arthur, a negro, at Worcester. 5. The most heinous sinners capable of the saving bless- 
ings of the gospel : sermon, Oct. 25, 1770, on the execution of William Lindsey for bur- 
glary, at Worcester. 6. Praise to God, a duty of continual obligation : sermon, Nov. 23, 
1775, public thanksgiving. 7. The guilt of innocent blood put away : sermon, July 2, 1778, 
on the execution of Buchannan, Brooks, Ross, and Mrs. Spooner, for murder, at Worcester. 
Most of the manuscripts of Mr. Maccarty were destroyed at his decease, in compliance 
with his wishes. Among them, was the historical discourse, of whose contents the foUow- 

• ing memorandum was entered by him on the church records : 

' Thursday, Dec. 8, 17G3. This day, being the public thanksgiving throughout the prov- 
ince, and the day also of this congregation's assembling in their new meeting house, which 
began to be erected on June 21st preceding, exactly 16 years from the time of my instal- 
ment to the pastoral office, I preached a sermon from 1 Chr. xxix. 16, 17, in which some 
brief account was given of the original settlement of this town, the gathering of this 
church, its pastors, admissions, baptisms, &c. and some proper notice taken of the solem- 
nity of thanksgiving.' 

Rev. Thaddeus Maccarty married Mary Gatcomb, Sept. 8, 1743. Their children were : 
1. Thaddeus, b. July 29, 1744. 2. John, b. Aug. 16, 1745 : both died in Kingston. 3. 
Thaddeus, b. Dec. 19, 1747, graduated at Yale College, 1766 : married Experience, d. of 

152 CHUBCH MUSIC. [1726. 

A singular controversy in relation to the form of conducting the musical 
portion of public worship in our churches, growing out of attachment to an- 
cient customs and resistance of innovations, arose at an early period. In its 
progress, it converted the harmony of christians in the house of prayer into 
discord, and though trifling in its origin, became of so much importance, as 
to require the frequent directory interference of town meetings, and only 
arrived at its conclusion when the great revolutionary struggle swallowed up 
all minor objects. 

Anciently, those who joined in singing the devotional poetry of religious 
exercises, were dispersed through the congregation, having no place assigned 
them as a distinct body, and no privileges separate from their fellow worship- 
pers. After the clergyman had read the whole psalm, he repeated the first 
line, which was sung by those who were able to aid in the pious melody : the 
oldest deacon then pronounced the next line, which was sung in similar man- 
Thomas Cowdin, Esq. of Fitchburg, Jan. 16, 1775 : physician, practiced sometime in Wor- 
cester, then in Keen«, N. H. where he died Nov. 21, 1802. 4. Thomas, b. Sept. 24, 1749 : 
d. March 14, 1750. 5. Mary, b. Oct. 30, 1750: married Hon. Benjamin West, of Charles- 
town, N. H. in 1781 : d. Aug. 1803. 6. .John, b. Jan. 10, 1752 : d. June 19, 1752. 7. Eliz- 
abeth, b. Jan. 7, 1753 : d. March 25, 1823. 8. William Greenough, b. Dec. 20, 1753, quar- 
ter master, in Col. Bigelow's, loth Mass. regiment, died at Billerica, Aug. 13, 1791 : he 
married Hannah Soley of Charlestown, Mass. who after his decease married Nathan 
Adams of the same town, and is now his widow. 9. Samuel, b. March 23, 1755 : d. July 
21, 1755. 10. Thomas, b. and d. Dec. 5, 1755. 11. Francis, b. Sept. 28, 1756 : d. June 7, 
1757. 12, Nathaniel, b. July 10, 1758 : learned the trade of a printer, with Isaiah Thom- 
as, afterwards merchant in Petersham, died in Worcester, Oct. 14, 1831. 13. Lucy, b. 
June 25, 1760 : d. June 23, 1813. 14. Lucretia, b. July 15, 1762 : d. Jan, 1810. 15, Fran- 
cis, b. Aug. 8, 1763 : d. Sept. 9, 1764. The mother died, Dec. 28, 1783, at Worcester. 

Mary Gatcomb was daughter of Francis Gatcomb, an emigrant from Wales, who became 
a wealthy merchant of Boston, where he died, July 20, 1744, aged 51 ; his wife, Rachel, 
died, Not. 20, 1752, aged 51. The marriage of one of their four daughters with one AVin- 
ter, was full of the romance of real life. He had worked as a wood sawyer at her father's 
door, and it was not known to the family that she even spoken to him. One afternoon, 
she put on her bonnet and shawl, and said she was about to visit a place she named. Her 
sister observed, ' stop a few minutes, and I will go with you.' ' No,' she replied, ' I am in 
a hurry ;' and immediately went out. Night coming on, the family became greatly 
alarmed by her absence, and made ineffectual search in all directions. The next morn- 
ing revealed the mystery of her disappearance ; she had become the lawful wife of AVinter, 
Her parents were much incensed, and forbade her the house ; but afterwards, on his death 
bed, her father became reconciled, received her again to favor, and in the division of his 
estate, which was large for those days, made her share equal to that of his other children. 
Winter proved a kind, but thriftless husband. They embarked for Halifax, were ship- 
wrecked, lost all their effects, and narrowly escaped with life. Finding nothing but pov- 
erty and distress at Halifax, they returned to Boston. Winter did the best he could to 
support his family by day labor, and was ever kind and affectionate to the woman he 
had led from the affluence of her former home to the penury of his own lot. Misfortune 
followed him, and his exertions were unsuccessful. His wife, at length, fell into consump- 
tion. The Rev. Mr. Maccarty, who married her sister, went to Boston to visit her in dis- 
tress, and found her in a bare hovel, on a straw bed, destitute of every thing. He admin- 
istered all the consolation in his power, gave to her a guinea, a large present for him to 
make at that time, knelt down by her and prayed, and, commending her to the protection 
of heaven, departed. She died, in about six weeks after, without issue. MS. Letter of 
John W. Stiles, Esq. 

1726.] CHTJKCH MUSIC. 153 

ner, and the exercises cf singing and reading went on alternately. When the 
advantages of education were less generally diffused than at present, the cus- 
tom was established, to avoid the embarrassment resulting from the ignorance 
of those who were more skilful in giving sound to notes than deciphering 
letters. The barbarous effect produced by each individual repeating the words 
to such tune as was agreeable to his own taste, became apparent. The first 
attempt at the reformation of this ' usual way,' as it was termed, was made 
March, 1726, when a meeting of the inhabitants was called, for the purpose 
of considering ' in which way the congregation shall sing in future, in public, 
whether in the ruleable way, or in the usual way,' and the former was adopted, 
though not without strong opposition at the time and great discontent after. ^ 
Ineffectual application having been made to the selectmen, to convene the 
people, for the purpose of again discussing the subject, a warrant was pro- 
cured from John Minzies, Esq. of Leicester, calling a meeting, ' to see if the 
town will reconsider their vote concerning singing, it being of an ecclesiastical 
nature, which ought not to stand on our town records : ' but the article was 

The next step was, the attempt to procure the aid of some suitable person 
to lead and direct in the performances. It was voted. May, 1769, ' that the 
elder's seat be used for some persons to lead the congregation in singing.' 
The adherents of old usage possessed sufficient influence to negative a propo- 
sition for raising a committee to invite a qualified individual to perform this 
office. In March, 1770, ' it was voted, that Messrs. James McFarland, Jona- 
than Stone, and Ebenezer Flagg, sit in the elder's seat to lead, and on a mo- 
tion made and seconded, voted unanimously, that Mr. William Swan sit in 
the same seat, to assist the aforesaid gentlemen in singing.' It remained, to 
gather the musicians to one choir, where their talents in pslamody could be 
better exerted than in their dispersion, and in 1773, ' the two hind body 
seats, on the men's side, on the lower floor of the meeting house,' were 
assigned to those who sat together and conducted singing on the Lord's day. 

The final blow was struck on the old system, by the resolution of the town, 
Aug. 5, 1779. ' Voted, That the singers sit in the front seats in the front 
gallery, and those gentlemen who have heretofore sat in the front seats in 
said gallery, have a right to sit in the front seat and second seat below, and 
that said singers have said seats appropriated to said use. Voted, That said 
singers be requested to take said seats and carry on singing in public worship. 
Voted, That the mode of singing in the congregation here, be without reading 
the psalms, line by line, to be sung.' 

The sabbath succeeding the adoption of these votes, after the hymn had 
been read by the minister, the aged and venerable Deacon Chamberlain, un- 
willing to desert the custom of his fathers, rose, and read the first line accor- 
ding to his usual practice. The singers prepared to carry the alteration into 
efiect, proceeded, without pausing at its conclusion : the white-haired officer 

1 Its execution -was defeated by the resistance of the deacons, -who, on the ensuing Lord's 
day, read line by line as usual, without regard to the vote. Respectful regard to the feel- 
ings of these venerable men prevented the contemplated change. 

154 FIKST PAEISH. [1779. 

of the church, with the full power of his voice, read on, until the louder notes 
of the collected body overpowered the attempt to resist the progress of im- 
provement, and the deacon, deeply mortified at the triumph of musical refor- 
mation, seized his hat, and retired from the meeting house, in tears. His 
conduct was censured by the church, and he was, for a time, deprived of its 
communion, for absenting himself from the public services of the sabbath. 

The mode of reading prevailed in Boston, and throughout New England, 
until a few years prior to the last mentioned date, and in some places beyond 
it. A relic of the old custom probably still survives, in the repetition of the 
first line of the hymn by clergymen of the present day. 

The improved version, by President Dunster, of the translation attempted 
by Rev, Mr. Weld, Rev. Mr. Eliot of Roxbury, and Rev. Richard Mather of 
Dorchester, according to the agreement of the ministers in 1639, was used in 
the church here until 1761, when it was voted, ' that it would be agreeable 
to change the version of the Psalms, and to sing the version composed by 
Tate and Brady, with an appendix of scriptural hymns of Dr. Watts', and 
this Avas begun to be used Nov, 29, of that year. The hymns of Dr, "Watts 
were substituted for the book before used, Jan, 20, 1790, 

The public reading of a lesson from the Scriptures, as a stated portion of 
the service, was not introduced into New England until near the middle of 
the last century. The following extract from the church records shows the 
period when it was first commenced here. ' 1749, Sept. 3. Voted, that 
thanks be given, by the pastor, publicly, to the Hon. John Chandler, Esq. 
for his present of a handsome folio Bible for the public reading of the Scrip- 
tures, which laudable custom was very unanimously come into, by the church, 
at one of their meetings some time before.' 

The assignment of places in church was formerly matter of grave consider- 
ation, and frequently claimed the attention of the town. In 1724, a large 
committee was instructed to seat the meeting house, ' taking as the general 
rule the two last invoices of ratable estate, saving liberty to have due regard 
to principal builders as they shall see cause.' After long lapse of time, they 
were directed in 1733, ' to proceed and finish the meeting house, and that the 
rule they principally guide themselves by, be a person's usefulness, or the 
station he holds in age and pay, not having regard to plurality of polls, but 
to real and personal estate.' In 1748, it was directed, that the men's seats 
in the body of the house be enlarged to the women's seats, that a man and 
woman be placed in each of the pews to be constructed, and a seat for the 
children be made in the body before the seats.' An article was inserted in 
the warrant of April, 1750, ' to give directions that people may sit in the 
seats assigned to them, to prevent discord, and that they do not put themselves 
too forward,' and at the meeting it was voted, ' that the selectmen give tick- 
ets to such people as have not taken their seats properly, according to the 
last seating, directing them to sit where they ought, so as to prevent disorder, 
and that they fill up properly any pews lately built.' In the house erected in 
1763, the right of selection of pews was given ' in the order of amounts paid 
for building.' 


The declining health of Mr. Maccarty, during the last years of his life, had 
prevented his constant ministration, and rendered aid necessary for the pulpit. 
In March, 1781, a committee was instructed to engage the temporary assis- 
tance of clergymen. 

In July, 1783, the increasing infirmities of the pastor, made it apparent 
that the days of his usefulness were drawing near their close. With the view 
to provide an assistant, or successor, it was voted, to settle a colleague, and 
to invite candidates to officiate on probation. Gentlemen, whose labors in 
other towns were afterwards crowned with distinguished success, were heard, 
but failed to produce such impression as to unite the members of the parish 
in the selection from the number. Among others, the Rev Aaron Bancroft 
preached eight sabbaths in the autumn of 1783. On the termination of his 
engagement, Mr. Maccarty was so far restored to health, as to be able to 
resume the discharge of his duties for a short period. 

In July, 1784, the pulpit was left vacant by his decease. In October fol- 
lowing, Mr. Bancroft again preached five or six times. Differences of opinion 
on religious doctrine had sprung up, which, in their progress, produced divis- 
ion in the parent parish, and are stated on the record, to have disturbed the 
peace of the town and the intercourse of society. 

In November, 1784, a day was set apart by the town, for humiliation, 
prayer, and supplication of the divine assistance for the reestablishment of the 
Gospel ministry. 

Mr. Bancroft returned to Worcester, under a third engagement to preach, 
in January 1785. A meeting was convened in March of that year, on the 
request of 48 petitioners. A motion was made to settle Mr. Bancroft as the 
minister. The opposition of the majority arose from diversity of religious 
sentiment ;^ and not from objection to the character or ability of the candi- 
date. It was proposed, as a means of compromise, that he should be called 
to settle : that those opposed should be at liberty to settle a colleague of 
their own choice : and that the salaries of both be paid from the common 
treasury ; but this was rejected. The friends of Mr. Bancroft, next requested 
the assent of the town to the formation of another society, which was refused. 
They then withdrew, voluntarily associated themselves together, and although 
the legal connection was not dissolved until an act of incorporation was 
obtained, long afterwards, they maintained public worship separate from the 

The division springing from this source, and extending its distracting influ- 
ence over civil, municipal, social, and private affairs, continued to impair har- 
mony. Those who seceded, still remained liable to taxation, and while 

^ ' On application for an incorporating act, a committee of the legislature was appoint- 
ed to report on the prayer of the petition, of which the venerable Charles Turner, once a 
distini;uished clergyman, was chairman. He was liberal in his opinions, but much op- 
posed to the ecclesiastical division of towns and parishes ; and he demanded the reasons, 
which rend red it expedient, that the town of Worcester should thus be divided. Judge 
Lineo'a, chairman of the parish committee, replied, ' The majority of our inhabitants are 
rigid Calvinists, the petitioners are rank Arminians.' Dr. Bancroft's Half-Century Ser- 
mon, 42. 

156 FIRST PARISH. [1786. 

charged witli the support of their own minister, were compelled to contribute 
their proportion of the parochial expenses of their opponents. The members 
of the new society claimed a share in the funds arising from the sale of lands 
appropriated for religious purposes, and of the property which had been held 
in common for ministerial use. During two years, continual but inetfectual 
attempts were made to secure equitable adjustment. Meeting after meeting 
was held. Propositions to exonerate the new society from taxation in the 
parish from which they had separated ; to distribute the ministerial funds and 
property ; to submit the determination of the whole matter to the arbitration 
of the Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court, or of referees mutually chosen ; 
with all varieties of modifications, were successively rejected. The petitions 
for incorporation were opposed ; all terms of accommodation denied ; and the 
meetings were disturbed by the conflict of the contending parties, until the 
act of the Legislature defined the rights of the minority, and all the contro- 
versy subsided. 

While this warfare of brethren was going on, attempts were made to settle 
a minister in the elder society. 

May 15, 1786, an invitation was given to E.ev. Daniel Story for this pur- 
pose, with an offer of £300 settlement, and £120 annual salary, and accepted 
by him. His ordination was postponed, with the hope that an amicable settle- 
ment of the controversies of the societies could be effected. October 15, 
1787, the last Wednesday of November was fixed for the ceremony, and a 
committee charged with the proper preparations. Before the time appointed 
for his installation arrived, another meeting was held, and the former vote 
reconsidered. Adjournments took place from month to month, without final 
action on the subject, until March 10th, 1788, when the invitation was recalled, 
and the relation which had commenced between pastor and people was dis- 
solved, after Mr. Story had preached about two years. This measure was 
adopted, probably in compliance with his wishes, and was induced by his re- 
luctance to remain permanently, where his means of usefulness would be lim- 
ited, and restrained by the existing divisions. 

Rev, Daniel Story, son of William Story of Boston, who held the office of 
Commissioner of Stamps, was a graduate of Dartmouth College in the class 
of 1780. After his removal from Worcester, he preached as a candidate for 
the ministry in Concord, New Hampshire. Although an acceptable preacher, 
the Arminian sentiments he was said to entertain, prevented his settlement. 
He removed to Ohio, and was settled as the first minister of Marietta, where 
he died in 1813.^ 

Nov. 13, 1787, the New Society was incorporated by the legislature. 
From this time, the first parish commenced its legal existence distinct from 
the municipal corporation, and the support of worship ceased to be provided 
for by the inhabitants in their general meetings. 

The Rev. Abiel Flint, Israel Evans, Elijah Kellog, Enoch Pond, Joshua 
Cushman, William F. Rowland, and Ebenezer Fitch, supplied the desk, after 
the retirement of Mr. Story. 

1 J. Farmer, in New Hampshire Hist. Coll. iii. 248. 

1790.] CHURCH COVENANT. 157 

On the 22d of March, 1790, the Rev. Samuel Austin of New Haven, was 
invited to settle on a salary of £130. After the acceptance of the call by 
that gentleman, disapprobation was expressed by an individual. For the 
purpose of ascertaining the precise extent of opposition, and to avoid the 
painful consequences of discontent, a second meeting was held, when there 
were found to be seventy three for, and only two against the candidate. 

Mr. Austin was installed, Sept. 30, 1790. The Rev. Samuel Spring of 
Newburyport, introduced the solemnities with prayer : Rev. Samuel Hopkins 
of Hadley, delivered the sermon : Rev. Ebenezer Chaplin of Sutton, made 
the ordaining prayer : Rev. Joseph Sumner of Shrewsbury, gave the charge : 
Rev. Nehemiah Williams of Brimfield, bestowed the right hand of fellowship : 
Kev. Nathaniel Emmons of Franklin, offered the concluding prayer. 

As a substitute for the old articles of faith and covenant, the following were 
unanimously adopted by the church, to be used in the admission of members.-' 

' 1. I believe that there is one, only, living, and true God, a Being inde- 
pendent and eternal in his existence and glory, unchangeable in his purposes, 
possessed of infinite power, wisdom, and justice, goodness and truth, and who 
is the Creator, Benefactor, Preserver, and sovereign righteous Governor of the 

'2. I believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament were 
given by inspiration of God, are clothed with divine authority, and are a per- 
fect rule of faith and manners. 

' 3. I believe that the Scriptures teach, that God exists, in a manner incom- 
prehensible to us, under a threefold distinction or Trinity of persons, as the 
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and that to these three persons, as the one God, 
all divine perfections are to be equally ascribed. 

' 4. I believe that every individual of the human race, is, by connection 
with the first man, and in consequence of his apostasy, natively dead in tres- 
passes and sins, at enmity with God, and must be regenerate in heart, and 
sanctified by the agency of the Holy Ghost, in order to final salvation. 

'5. I believe that God hath, from the foundation of the world, ordained 
some, by an election purely of grace, unto everlasting life, who, and who only, 
will be finally gathered into the kingdom of the Redeemer. 

' 6. The only Redeemer of sinners, I believe, is the Lord Jesus Christ, who 
is strictly and properly a divine person, who, by the assumption of the human 
nature in union with the divine, became capable of making a meritorious and 
effectual sacrifice for sin, by giving himself up to the death of the cross ; 
that by this sacrifice he became the propitiation of the sins of men ; that, as 
risen from the dead, ascended and glorified, he is the Head of the Church, 
and the final Judge of the world, and that all who are saved, will be entirely 
indebted to the sovereign Grace of God, through his atonement. 

* 7. I believe that those who are regenerated and united to Christ by a true 
faith, will never finally fall away, but will be preserved by divine power, 

1 These articles were not entered on the church records until May 23, 1815. They were 
then revised, but it stated, were varied in phraseology only, and not in sentiment. 

158 FIRST PARISH. [1790. 

and in fulfillment of God's eternal purpose of Grace, unto final salvation. 

' 8. I believe that those who die in a state of impenitency and unbelief 
are irrevocably lost. 

•9. I believe in the resurrection of the dead and a general judgment, in 
the issue of which the righteous will be received to the perfect and endless 
enjoyment of God in heaven, and the wicked will be sentenced to be everlast- 
ingly punished in that fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, 
Avhich sentence I believe will be fully executed. 

' 10. I believe in the sacraments of the Gospel dispensation, baptism and 
the Lord's Supper, as the two ordinances instituted by Christ, for the edifica- 
tion of his body the church : that visible believers only, who appear to receive 
the truth in the love of it, and to maintain a conversation becoming the Gos- 
pel, have a right of admission to the Lord's Supper, and that they, with their 
households, are the only proper subjects to whom baptism is to be admin- 

The following Covenant was subscribed. 

' You do now, in the presence, of God, angels, and men, avouch the Lord 
Jehovah, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, to be your God, the object of your 
supreme love and your portion : You receive, trust in, and desire to obey, 
the Lord Jesus Christ as your only Redeemer ; You choose the Holy Spirit as 
as your Sanctifier : You give up yourself and all that you have to God, to be 
his, desiring above all things to be an instrument of his glory in that way 
which he shall see best ; and promising, through the help of divine grace, 
without which you can do nothing, that you will deny ungodliness and 
worldly lusts, and that you will live soberly, righteously, and godly, even 
unto death, you cordially join yourself, as a brother, to this church, as a true 
church of our Lord Jesus Christ, and engage to be subject to its discipline, so 
far as it is comformable to the rules which Christ has given in the Gospel, and 
that you will walk with the members thereof, in all memberlike love, watch- 
fulness, and purity.' 

Upon assent to this covenant, on occasion of admission, the church respond, 
' Then doth this church receive you into its bosom, promising you our prayers 
and christian love, and we severally engage, with the help of divine grace, 
that we will walk with you in all brotherly watchfulness and kindness, hoping 
that you and we shall become more and more conformed to the example of 
our divine Master, till we at last come to the perfection of holiness in the 
kingdom of his glory. Amen.' 

During the war, and amid the violence of party contention. Dr. Austin 
expressed his political sentiments strongly, in sermons preached on the spec- 
ial fasts.-' Many took ofi'ence at this course. A meeting was called, to ascer- 

1 The sermon preached on occasion of the special fast, July 23, 1812, was published, 
with the following characteristic imprint on the title page : ' Published from the press, by 
the desire of some who heard it, and liked it ; by the desire of some who heard it, and did 
not like it; and by the desire of others, who did not hear it, but im.gine they should not 
have liked it, if they had.' 

1815.] REV. SAMUEL AUSTIN. 159 

tain the views uf the parish in relation to these discourses, and to consider the 
expediency of dissolving the existing connection. The minister was sustained 
by a great majority, and the meeting dissolved without action. The disaffect- 
ed withdrew from his congregation, and many united in forming the Baptist 

In 1815, Mr. Austin accepted the presidency of the University of Vermont, 
and solicited dismission ; but, on the request of the church and parish, 
assented to their concurrent votes, June 12, giving him leave of absence until 
the first of September then following, that he might have time and opportu- 
nity to obtain the information necessary for final decision, and that candidates 
might be invited to supply the pulpit, with a view to the settlement of col- 
league or successor. Having determined to remain in Burlington, it was con- 
sidered desirable that his pastoral relations should still be retained, on account 
of the civil process instituted in his name by the parish against the town, for 
the recovery of ministerial lands. An adjudication was had in the legal con- 
troversy, at the distance of about two years from his change of residence. 
Regard for the wishes of a minority, influenced him in longer preserving the 
original connection, which was finally terminated by the result of a mutual 
council, Dec. 23, 1818. 

Dr. Samuel Austin was born in New Haven, Nov. 7, 1760.-^ When the 
revolutionary war commenced, he entered the army, and served in New York 
when the British took possession of the city, and, occasionally, for short peri- 
ods, in other campaigns. After having devoted some time to the instruction 
of youth, he applied himself to the study of law with Judge Chauncy of 
Connecticut. Feeling the necessity of higher classical attainments, he fitted 
himself, and was admitted to the Sophomore class of Yale College, in 1781, 
where he was distinguished as an accomplished linguist, and received the first 
appointment in the commencement exercises of 1784. Under the theological 
tuition of Dr. Edwards, he was prepared for the ministry. For four succeed- 
ing years, while a candidate, he was at the head of an academy in Norwich. 

During the period of this employment, one unanimous invitation to settle 
in Hampton, Connecticut, and another, to become colleague with Dr. Living- 
ston, in the pastoral care of the Middle Dutch Church in the city of New York, 
were declined. The religious sentiments of Dr. Austin were decidedly cal- 
vinistic, of the school of the Edwardses, and he required a stricter creed than 
thatof either society. In 1787, he accepted the call of the church of Fair 
Haven, in the city of New Haven. During the next year, he was married to 
Jerusha, daughter of Dr. Samuel Hopkins of Hadley. Strong disapprobation 
of the halfway covenant, as it was called, induced him to seek the dissolution 
of the connection with the society of his settlement, which had continued two 
years. Before the ceremony of dismission, as soon as his intention to leave 
New Haven became known, he was earnestly solicited to become minister of 
the first parish in Worcester. Yielding personal wi.shes to sense of duty, he 
was installed, Sept. 30, 1790, and retained the relation, thus commenced, 

1 His father, Samuel Austin, married Lyclia Walcot : they had two sons and a daughter, 
of -whom Dr. A-ustin was the eldest. 

160 FIRST PARISH. [1830. 

twenty five years. Having been elected President of the University of Ver- 
mont, in 1815, he removed to Burlington. The operations of that institu- 
tion had been suspended for three years by the war, and its buildings occupied 
as barracks for troops. The whole permanent income little exceeding one 
thousand dollars annually, its prosperity suffered by the derangement and 
depression of the times. Feeling that his expectations of usefulness and hap- 
piness could not be realized, after discharging the duties of his appointment 
six years, with fidelity, Dr. Austin resigned. The labors of his station had 
impaired his health, and its anxieties probably, pressed heavily on his mind. 
He resumed occupations more congenial to his tastes and habits, than were 
the government and support of the college, and selecting a people at Newport, 
in Rhode Island, unable to afford full support, went among them as on a mis- 
sionary charity, and was installed in 1822. Increasing infirmity of body and 
depression of spirits, compelled him to retire, in 1826, and he returned to 
Worcester. He afterwards preached in Milibury, and was solicited to resume 
the ministry by a new society in that place, but declined. The death of a 
nephew and adopted son, John W. Hubbard, Esq., and the separation of a 
family, where he might have expected to make a peaceful home, cheered by 
the kindness which soothes the heavy hours of sickness and despondency, 
involved him in affliction and engaged him in entangled affairs of business. 
Under the perplexities and beneath the oppressive burden of unaccustomed 
transactions, his mental energies gave way, and were, at length, prostrated. 
Occasional aberrations of reason terminated in deep religious melancholy, and 
sometimes, paroxysms of hopeless despair clouded his declining days with 
gloom. After passing a year in the family of his brother in law, Mr. Hopkins 
of Northampton, he removed to that of a nephew, the Rev. Mr. Riddel of 
Glastenbury, Connecticut, where he died, in an apoplectic fit, Dec. 4, 1830, 
aged 71. 

He was one of the founders, with Drs. Emmons and Spring, of the Mass- 
achusetts Missionary Society ; active in originating the General Association 
of Massachusetts ; member of the American Board of Commissioners for 
Foreign Missions ; one of the projectors and a contributor of the Panoplist, 
an able religious periodical ; and promoted with energy and zeal the objects 
of many public charitable institutions. In 1808, he collected and published 
the works of the elder President Edwards, the first and only complete and 
accurate edition of the writings of that celebrated theologian. He received 
the degree of Doctor of Divinity from Williams College. During his whole 
life he was an industrious and voluminous author.^ 

1 The printed works of Dr. Austin are the following : 1. Funeral oration in the chapel 
at Yale College, on the death of David Ripley, a classmate, July 11, 1782. 2. Sermon on 
disinterested love, New York. 3. Funeral sermon, Exeter, N. H. April 10, 1790. 4. Ser- 
mon on the sabbath following the author's installation, Worcester, Sept. 1790. 6. Sermon 
on the sabbath following the death of Miss Hannah Blair, 1792. 6. Thanksgiving Ser- 
mon, Worcester, Dec. 15, 1796. 7. Sermon on the Ordination of Rev. Samuel Worcester, 
at Fitchburg, Mass. Sept. 27, 1797, and again preached at the Ordination of Rev. Nathan- 
iel Hale, Oct. 4, 1797, at Granville N. Y. 8. Oration, July 4, 1798, at Worcester. 9. Ser- 
mon at the ordination of Rev. Leonard Worcester, Oct. 30, 1799, at Peacham, Vt, 10. Ser- 


A funeral discourse was pronounced at the interment of Dr. Austin, by his 
friend, the Rev. Dr. Caleb J. Tenney of Wethersfield : from which many of 
these particulars have been abstracted. ' flis intellect,' says that biographer, 
' was superior. Its operations were marked bj' rapidity, vigor and general 
accuracy .... His classical attainments and extensive general knowledge, 
secured him a respectable standing among the learned in our country .... 
As a writer for the pulpit, his mind was original and fertile ; his style at once 
copious and discriminating .... In delivery, he was animated and vehe- 
ment , . . . while, occasionally, he rose to high and powerful eloquence.' 

Dr. Austin was of commanding stature. An austere air and severe coun- 
tenance, were united with ardent feelings, and constitutional susceptibility to 
external incidents and influences. In appearance, he might be supposed to 
resemble, as in fearless spirit and firmness he would have imitated, had occa- 
sion called to the trial, one of the reformers and martyrs of old. 

On the 15th of July, 1816, the Rev. Charles A. Goodrich was invited to 
settle, as colleague with Dr. Austin until the latter should be regularly dis- 
missed from office, and thenceforward as sole pastor, by 64 of 66 members of 
the parish, and this was confirmed, August 26, 88 to 2. A salary of $900 
was off'ered. The ordination took place, Oct. 9. The prayer was by the 
Rev. Benjamin Wood of Upton : sermon by Rev. Samuel Goodrich of Berlin, 
Conn., father of the pastor : consecrating prayer by Rev. Edmund Mills of 
Sutton : charge by Rev. Mr. Smith of Durham, Conn. : exhortation to church 
and people by Rev. Joseph Goff'e of Millbury : address and right hand of 
fellowship by Rev. John Nelson of Leicester : concluding prayer by Rev. Mr. 
Whittlesey of Washington, Conn. 

inon at the ordination of Rev. Samuel Worcester, April 20, 1803, at Salem. 11. Sermon 
in a volume, ' Sermons Collected,' published at Hartford, 1803. 12. Sermon before Mass- 
achusetts Missionary Society, May 24, 1803, Boston. 13, 14. Two Sermons in the Colum- 
bian Preacher, published at Catskill, N. Y. 1808. 15. Examination of the representations 
and reasonings contained in seven sermons by Rev. Daniel Merrill. 12mo. pp. 108. 1805. 
16. Mr. Merrill's defensive armor taken from him, a reply to his twelve letters to the 
author, on the mode and subjects of Baptism. 12mo. pp. 58. 1806. 17. View of the econ- 
omy of the church of God, as it existed under the Abrahamic Dispensation and the Sinai 
Law, and as it is perpetuated under the more luminous Dispensation of the Gospel, par- 
ticularly in regard to the Covenants. 8vo. pp. 328. 1807. 18. Sermon at the ordination 
of Rev. John M. Whiton, Sept. 28, 1808, at Antrim, N. H. 19. Sermon at the dedication 
of a new meeting house, Nov. 3, 1808, at Hadley, Mass. 20. Sermon at the ordination of 
Rev. Warren Fay, Nov. 1808, at Brimfield, Mass. 21. Fast Sermon, April 11, 1811, Wor- 
cester. 22. Sermon at the ordination of Rev. John Nelson, March 14, 1812, at Leicester. 
23. Sermon on the Special Fast, July 23, 1812. Worcester. 24. The apology cf patriots; 
Or the heresy of Washington and peace policy defended : Sermon on the National Fast, 20, 1812. Worcester. 25. Sermon at the ordination of Rev. Gamaliel S. Olds, Nov. 
13, 1813, at Greenfield. 26. Inaugural Address on induction into office as President of 
the University in Vermont, July 26, 1816, Burlington, Vt. 27. Election Sermon, Oct. 10, 
1816, at Montpelier, Vt. 28. Protest against proceedings of first church in Worcester, 
June, 1821. 29. Oration, July 4, 1822, at Newport, R. L 30. Sermon on the dedication of 
the Calvinist Church, Oct. 13, 1823, at Worcester. 31. Discourse at the loth annual 
Meeting of the American Board of Commissioners of Foreign Missions, Sept. 15, 1824, at 
Hartford. 32. Address, July 4, 1825, at Worcester. 33. Dissertations upon several fund- 
amental articles of Christian Theology. Svo, pp. 260. Worcester. 1826. 

162 riRST PARISH. [1820, 

The opposition manifested to tiie call of Mr. Goodrich, grew stronger after 
his ordination, and was much increased by the dismission of his colleague. 
Twenty eight members of the church protested, before the ecclesiastical coun- 
cil convened by the assent of Dr. Austin, Nov. 18, 1818, against the disso- 
lution of the then existing relations. That body, on the 23d of December, 
separated the connection of the senior pastor. Objections of a personal 
nature to the ministration of Mr. Goodrich, and to the discipline and pro- 
ceedings of the church, led to long and acrimonious controversy. The dis- 
affected, and those who considered themselves aggrieved, withdrew, or were 
dismissed, and joined the Baptist Society, or united themselves to other 
religious associations, and were finally formed into the Calvinist Church. 
The troubles of this period have too recently been laid before the public in 
voluminous tracts, to require repetition of the narrative.^ 

Mr. Goodrich asked and received dismission, Nov. 14, 1820. 

The Rev. Charles A. Goodrich, was a native of Berlin in Connecticut, son 
of the clergyman of the parish of Worthington, in that town, and graduated 
at Yale College, in 1815. After his removal from Worcester, he returned to 
his native place, and has since been engaged in literary labors. 

The Rev. Aretius B. Hull, invited to settle as the successor of Mr. Good- 
rich, by a vote of 101 to 3, was ordained May 23., 1821. Rev. Dr. Reuben 
Puffer of Berlin, made the introductory prayer : the sermon was | reached by 
Rev. Nathaniel W. Taylor of New Haven : the consecrating prayer offered 
by Rev. Daniel Tomlinson of Oakham : the charge given by Rev. Joseph 
Avery of Holden : right hand of fellowship extended by Rev. John Nelson 
of Leicester : address to the church delivered by Rev. Thomas Snell of North 
Brookfield : and the concluding prayer pronounced by Rev. Micah Stone of 
Brookfield, The venerable Dr. Sumner of Shrewsbury, presided in the Council. 

The Rev. Aretius B. Hull, descended from a respectable family emigrating 
from the vicinity of Liverpool, in England, to New Haven, at an early period, 
was born at Woodbridge, in Connecticut, October 12, 1788. Having been 
fitted by the Rev. Dr. Eli, he graduated at Yale, in 1807. Adopting the 
usual resource of young men indigent in circumstances, to acquire the pecu- 
niary means of professional education, he taught the academy at "Wethcrsfield, 
for a short space after completing hie collegiate course. The seeds of con- 
sumption were implanted in his constitution, and he sought relief from the 
genial climate of the Southern states. Returning with improved health, he 
accepted the appointment of tutor in his own college, in 1810, and remained 

1 The full bietory of these difficulties, and discussions of their leading points, are con- 
tained in a series of publications: 1. Origin and Progress of the late difficulties in the 
First Church in Worcester, containing all the documents relating to the subject. 2. Re- 
marks on the late publication of the First Church in Worcester, relating to the origin and 
progress of the late difficulties in that church. 3. Result of a Mutual Ecclesiastical Coun- 
cil, Kov. 14, 1820, to consider the expediency of granting the request of Rev. Charles A. 
Goodrich to be dismissed. 4. I'roteBt against the proceedings of the First Church in AVor- 
cester, by Samuel Austin, D. D. 5. Communication from the Brookfield association, to the 
Ecclesiastical Council who ordained Rev. Loammi Ives Hoadly, over the Calvinist Church, 
in Worcester. 

1827.] KEV. EODNET A. MILLEK. 163 

in that station until the autumn of 1816, when he was licensed to preach. 
Although still suffering from the lurking complaint, he officiated in Brookfield, 
Connecticut, and in other places, until his ordination in Worcester, in 1821. 
The disease, which medical skill has not been yet able to arrest, in May 1825, 
interrupted his labors, and, on the 17th of May, 1826, terminated his exis- 
tence, at the age of 38. 

' He possessed,' says the Rev. ]\Ir. Nelson,-^ ' a mind of a very high 
order, and that mind was enriched with uncommon attainments of general as 
well as professional knowledge. His conceptions were clear, just, and dis- 
criminating. At the same time, a highly cultivated taste, a refinement of 
thought and feeling, as pleasing as it was genuine, pervaded all his Avritings 
and all his conversation.' 

After the death of Mr. Hull, Mr. Joseph Whiting was invited to settle as 
his successor, Nov. 16, 1826, but as there was apparent want of unanimity 
in the election, the call was declined. 

The Rev. Rodney A. Miller, the present clergyman, received an invitation, 
with a single dissenting voice only, to become Pastor of the First Parish, 
Feb. 19, 1827. 

Mr. Miller, descended from a puritan family emigrating from Devonshire, 
in England, and settling near Hampton, on the east end of Long Island, son 
of Mr. Uriah Miller of Troy, New York, graduated at Union College, 1819, 
pursued the usual course of professional studies at the Theological Seminary 
in Princeton, N. J. and was ordained at Worcester, June 7, 1827. The exer- 
cises were these : introductory prayer by Rev. Edward Beecher of Park 
Street Church, Boston : sermon by the Rev. "Warren Fay of Charlestown : 
consecrating prayer by Rev. Micah Stone of Brookfield : charge by Rev. 
Thomas Snell of North Brookfield: right hand of fellowship by Rev. George 
Allen of Shrewsbury : address to the people by Rev. John Fiske of New 
Braintree : concluding prayer by Rev. Dr. Codman of Dorchester.'-^ 


A church was gathered of the Scotch emigrants, soon after their arrival in 
this town in 1719. They were accompanied, it is said, by the Rev. Edward 
Fitzgerald, from Londonderry, in Ireland, who preached to the society during 
some months. They assembled for religious worship in the old garrison house, 
near the intersection of the Boston and Lancaster roads. As the meeting 
house they attempted to rear was destroyed, it is probable they continued to 
occupy this humble edifice. 

' Sermon delivered at his funeral, May, 1826, by Rev. John Nelson, Pastor of the Church 
in Leicester. Mr. Nelson was a native of Hopkinton, whence he removed with his father, 
Deacon John Nelson, sometime resident in Milford, to Worcester. He graduated at Wil- 
liams College, 1807, was subsequently tutor there, afterwards pursued theological studies 
Avith the Rev. Dr. Austin, was ordained in Leicester, March 4, 1812, and still remains in 
that town, having the praise in the churches of an able and faithful minister, and enjoying 
the respect and affection of his people. 

- Rev. Mr. Miller has published a thanksgiving sermon, at Worcester, Nov. 29, 1832, on 
the importance of religious influence to national prosperity. 


Little care was taken to preserve the memorials of tbis unoffending but per- 
secuted people, whose history discloses only the injustice and intolerance of 
our ancestors. Few facts can now be ascertained of their struggle with 
prejudices and hostility, which finally drove them away to seek asylum 
in other states. 

The number of Presbyterian communicants is said to have been nearly equal 
to those of the Congregational church. Mr. Fitzgerald, being unable to pro- 
cure proper maintenance, removed, before the settlement of Mr. Burr. The 
members of the first parish had proposed an union, and the Presbyterian 
clergyman had once been invited to occupy the pulpit vacated by the dismis- 
sion of Mr. Gardner, for a single sabbath, when no candidate could be pro- 
cured. The request was not repeated, and no encouragement was held out to 
him to remain. 

On the settlement of Mr. Burr, it was understood, that if the Presbyterians 
would aid in his support, they should be permitted to place in the pulpit, oc- 
casionally, teachers of their own denomination, and the foreigners united with 
the other inhabitants. After some time, finding their expectations would not 
be realized, they withdrew, and the Rev. William Johnston was installed as 
their minister. 

It has been already stated, that they commenced the erection of a meeting 
house on the Boston road ; after the materials had been procured, the frame 
raised, and the building was fast rising, a body of the inhabitants, assembled 
by night, hewed down and demolished the structure. The riotous act was 
sustained by the intolerant spirit of the day, and the injured foreigners were 
compelled to mourn in silence over the ruins of the altar, profaned by the 
hand of violence. 

Being compelled to contribute to the support of the Rev. Mr. Burr, an ap- 
peal was made to the justice of their fellow townsmen, in 1736, for relief from 
a tax inconsistent with their religious privileges, but without avail. The re- 
corded answer to their application, furnishes a curious specimen of mingled 
subtlety and illiberality. 

' In answer to the petition of John Clark and others, praying to be [re- 
leased] from paying towards the support of the Rev. Isaac Burr, pastor of the 
churcb in this town, or any other except Mr. Johnston, (or the ministry car- 
ried on after the Congregational way by the said minister of the church, ac- 
cording to the establishment of the Province, in this town) &c. the town, upon 
mature consideration, think that the request is unreasonable, and that they 
ought not to comply with it, upon many considerations : 

' 1. That it doth not appear in the petition, who they are that desire to be 
set off", only from the names of the subscribers ; [therefore] it would be for 
the town to act too much at random, to set them off on such a general request : 

* 2. That it doth not appear, that the petitioners, or others joining with 
them, have been actuated by just reasons, or any such principles of con- 
science as should at all necessitate their forsaking the assembling themselves 
with us : for, as to the Westminster confession of faith, which they say they 
promised their adherence to at their baptism, it is the same which we hold. 


maintain, and desire to adhere to. And as to the worship, discipline, and 
government of the church, as set forth by the assembly of divines at West- 
minster, they are not substantially differing from our own professed principles : 
As they themselves well know, they may enjoy the same worship, ordinances, 
and christian privileges, and means of their spiritual edification, with us, as in 
the way which they call Presbyterian, and their consciences not be imposed 
on in any thing : 

' 3 . Inasmuch, also, as a number of those now withdrawing from us, were j oint- 
ly concerned in the settlement of the Rev. Isaac Burr, our present minister, 
and joined with us in church fellowship and communion, and we know not 
why it should be contrary to their consciences to continue with us in com- 
munion and worship, but have rather reason to suppose that their separation 
from us is from some irregular views and motives, which it would be unworthy 
of us to countenance : 

' 4. We look upon the petitioners and others breaking off from us as they 
have done, [as] being full of irregularity and disorder ; not to mention, that 
the ordination of their minister Avas disorderly, even with respect to the prin- 
ciples which they themselves pretend to act by, as well as with respect to us, 
to whom they stand related, and with whom they cohabit, and enjoy with ua 
in common all proper social, civil, and christian rights and privileges : their 
separating from us being contrary to the public establishment and laws of this 
province, contrary to their own covenant with us, and unreasonably weaken- 
ing to the town, whose numbers and dimensions, the north part being ex- 
cepted by the vote from paying to Mr. Burr, will not admit of the honorable 
support of two ministers of the gospel, and tending to cause and cherish divi- 
sions and parties, greatly destructive to our civil and religious interests, and 
the peace, tranquility and happiness of the town : 

' Upon all which, and other accounts, the town refuse to comply with the 
request;' and it Avas voted, by a great majority of the inhabitants, that the 
petition be dismissed. 

All efforts to obtain justice, and protection for religious freedom, having 
proved unavailing, many of the Presbyterian planters removed. Some joined 
their brethren of the same denomination, who under the pastoral charge of the 
Rev. Mr. Abercrombie, founded the town of Pelham, in Hampshire county, 
others united themselves with the society in Londonderry, N. H. and many 
emigrated to the colony on the banks of the Unadilla, in New York. 

The Rev. Mr. Johnston Avas settled in Londonderry in 1747. His connec- 
tion was dissolved in July, 1753,-' not on account of impropriety of conduct or 
disaffection of the people ; but because poverty prevented them from affording 
proper support. 

By the persuasion of the Rev. Mr. Dunlop, about thirty persons had been 
induced to remove from Londonderry, in 1741, to Cherry Valley, in Otsego 
county, New York. After the dismission of Mr. Johnston, he emigrated, with 
a little colony, to Unadilla, on the east side of the Susquehannah, in what was 
then called the Old England district. The unfortunate foreigners were des- 

1 Rev. Mr. Parker's Centiiry Sermon. Londonderry, April 22, 1819. 

166 SECOND SOCIETY. [1785. 

tined to endure suffering every where. Escaping from persecution, they en- 
countered the horrors of Indian warfare. The celebrated Brant visited the 
plantation, in 1777, and having called together the military officers, with Mr. 
Johnston, demanded supplies of provisions. The power of the red Avarrior en- 
forced compliance. The inhabitants, plundered of their cattle, soon after 
abandoned the town, and with their families took refuge in places of greater 
security. Some of them were involved in the massacres which desolated the 
ancient county of Tryon.-' 

It is probable, Mr. Johnston was accompanied by some of his former par- 
ishioners, and that the toAvn of Worcester, at the south east corner of Otsego 
county, derives its name from their recollections of the place of their first 
American settlement. 


Second Congregational Society. Separation from the first Parish. DifBcaltieiS. Chnrch 
formed. Covenant. Eev. Aaron Bancroft ordained, 1786. Society incorporated, 1787- 
EeT. Alonzo Hill ordained, 1827. Votes of Parish and Church. Memoir of KeT. Dr. 

The history of the second congregational society is more remarkable for 
strong principles than striking incidents.^ It was formed by the secession of 
members of the first parish. Diificulties, springing from eff"orts to settle a 
colleague with the Rev. Mr. Maccarty, multiplied and increased in the selec- 
tion of a successor after his decease. Fixed differences of sentiment, diversity 
of taste, and discordant and conflicting opinions, interposed insuperable ob- 
stacles to union. Those embracing the doctrinal views of Mr. Bancroft, and 
desirous of attending his ministrations, after ineffectual attempts at reconcilia- 
tion, withdrew from the religious community where the law had bound them. 
In a memorial to the legislature, they represented, that ' town meeting after 
town meeting was productive of heat, contention, and unchristian struggles 
for a major vote : the division reached in its influence to private affairs, and 
to the civil and prudential concerns of the town. This being matter of noto- 
riety, respectable persons in the neighborhood urged, from the largeness of 
the town, the number of its inhabitants, their ability, and the extensive duties 
of a minister, the expediency and necessity of settling two [clergymen.] Your 
petitioners readily agreed to, and pressed the proposal, in the March meeting 
of 1785, Avhich was then rejected by a majority of votes, as was, also, a re- 
quest for the liberty of forming into a separate religious society by themselves. 
Under these circumstances, seeing no prospect of union, desirous of a minis- 
ter whose sentiments they approved, wishing the same indulgence to those 

1 Campbell's Annals of Tryon, 21. 27. 63. 
2 Free use has been made of two historical sermons of Doct. Bancroft, April 8, 1827, and 
January 31, 1836, in the notice of the second society. 

c^ /^t;i^^cyrt^/c. 


who differed from them, weary of unprofitable contention, and finding every 
thing was to be carried by a major vote, without any attention to the wishes 
or feelings of the minor part, your petitioners, judging it for the peace and 
happiness of the town, by a separation, to put an end to disputes that might 
embroil for years, withdrew.' A voluntary association was formed, in March, 
1785, for the support of public worship. Sixty-seven individuals, by a written 
instrument, agreed to form a religious society, under a proper covenant ; to 
endeavor to procure an act of incorporation ; to apply to Mr. Bancroft to settle 
with them, as their minister ; and severally, to pay their respective propor- 
tions of the sum of £150 annually, each according to the assessment of town 
rates, as salary. 

To this period, the inland parishes of Massachusetts had been marked out 
by geographical boundaries. The inhabitants within prescribed territorial 
limits, were united by the existing laws, with the society established within 
the precinct of their residence. Conscience was circumscribed by lines drawn 
on the map, and its exercise restrained by the monumental stakes and stones 
of civil jurisdiction. Voluntary association for religious worship, unsanctioned 
by the authority of government, was bold innovation, conflicting with the 
prejudices, as it violated the usages of the times. ^ The erection of a poll par- 
ish, bringing together those of similar opinions, without regard to local hab- 
itation, almost, if not entirely unprecedented, except in the metropolis, was 
strenuously resisted. The founders of the second society went forward, by 
one long stride, years in advance of public opinion. They grasped firmly, and 
wrested from opposition, those rights, which, after the lapse of time, have 
been accorded as common privileges.^ It is to their honor, to have taken the 
first step in establishing those principles of religious freedom, of which their 
venerable pastor, from youth to age, has been the fearless asserter. 

Meetings commenced on the third Sunday of March, 1785, in the Court 
House, and were held in that place until Jan. 1, 1792. The Rev. Mr. Ban- 
croft was invited, and consented to become the minister, June 7, 1785. Of 
the associates, two men, and three or four females only, had been communi- 
cants. It became necessary to organize a church. For this purpose, the fol- 
lowing covenant Avas prepared by the pastor elect, which has been retained, 
unchanged, for half a century. 

' In the first place, we humbly renew the dedication of ourselves and off- 
spring to the great God, who is over all, blessed forever : 

And we do hereby profess our firm belief of the Holy Scriptures contained 
in the Old and New Testaments. And taking them as our sole and sufficient 
rule of faith and practice, we do covenant to and with each other, that we will 
walk together as a Christian Society, in the faith and order of the Gospel. 

1 In 1757, a few families left the old parish in Leominster, and formed a society under 
Mr. John Rogers. The seceders were incorporated, as individuals, into a poll parish, with- 
out succession as a corporation. This body was dissolved on the death of the minister in 

2 Among those most influential in the formation of the new society, were Levi Lincoln, 
sen. Joseph A.llen, Edward Bangs, Timothy Paine, Timothy Bigelow, and Isaiah Thomas. 

168 SECOND SOCIETY. [1786. 

And we do hereby engage, as far as in our power, for all under our care, that 
we will live as true disciples of Jesus Christ, in all good carriage and behavior, 
both towards God and towards man. Professing ourselves to be in charity 
with all men who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity and truth. All this, 
we engage faithfully to perform, by divine assistance, for which we are en- 
couraged to hope, relying on the mediation of Jesus Christ for the pardon of 
our manifold sins, and praying the God of all grace, through him, to strength- 
en and enable us to keep this, our covenant, inviolate, and to establish and 
settle us, that at the second coming of Jesus, we may appear before his pres- 
ence with exceeding joy.' 

Such was the instrument circulated among the families, deliberately consid- 
ered, and fully approved. A public lecture was appointed for the formal and 
solemn expression of assent. Two ministers, from neighboring towns, were 
invited to participate in the devotional exercises, but neither thought proper 
to attend. Such was the state of feeling existing in that period, that counte- 
nance or aid could not be expected or obtained, from the clergy or congrega- 
tions of the vicinity. Standing thus isolated amid society, if a religious com- 
munity was then formed, it must be founded, like the social compact of the 
May Flower, framed by the pilgrim fathers of New England, on the basis of 
original rights underived from human authority. At the time appointed, Mr. 
Bancroft preached on the constitution of the christian church and the nature 
and ends of gospel rites. The covenant was read to the people, and sub- 
scribed, in the presence of all who had assembled, by twenty seven of those 
disposed to assume its obligations. 

On the first day of February, 1786, the Rev. Aaron Bancroft was ordained. 
So general was the opposition to a mode of organization then unprecedented, 
and, in the view of many, irregular and disorderly, now authorised by liberal- 
ized legislation, that two churches only, in the county of Worcester, could be 
requested to assist in the solemnities, without strong probability of refusal. 
A council was formed with difficulty. The introductory prayer was offered by 
Rev. Dr. Simeon Howard, of the west church in Boston : the sermon preached 
by the Rev. Thomas Barnard of the north church in Salem : the charge given 
by Rev. Timothy Harrington of Lancaster : the right hand of fellowship pre- 
sented by Rev. Zabdiel Adams of Lunenburg : the concluding prayer made by 
the Rev. Dr. John Lathrop, of the north church in Boston : and the benedic- 
tion of Heaven implored, by the Rev. Timothy Hilliard of Cambridge.^ 

Great difficulties were overcome by the formation of the church and society, 
but formidable obstacles remained to impede its progress. So deep was the 
feeling of hostility to both, that the members were subjected to unpleasant 
and injurious effects in the concerns of social and civil life. 

1 ' The members of the old church who joined the new society, had applied to that body 
for dismission, and their request bad been denied : their case was, therefore, presented to 
the consideration of the ordaining council. The council advised the newly organized 
church, not formally to admit the members of the old church into their body, but, by a 
special vote, to grant them all the privileges of members in regular standing. This was 
done.' Dr. Bancroft's Discourse, April 8, 1827. 

1787.] BEV. AAKON BANCROFT, 169 

The constitutional provisions, as then applied by the statutes, failed to af- 
ford perfect protection to the exercise of private judgment. The boundaries 
of the first parish, coextensive with those of the town, embraced the estates of 
the associates, and while they contributed to the support of their own teacher, 
they were compelled to pay ministerial rates in the same manner as before the 
separation. At the period when pecuniary distress, decayed currency, and the 
pressure of public burdens and private debts, had driven the people into re- 
bellion, the double taxation was peculiarly onerous. To assess the annual 
salary, or enforce the collection, in the usual manner, was impracticable. 
Monthly contributions were made, and the sums thus advanced, by individuals, 
credited in the final settlement of proportional payments. On the 13th of 
November, 1787, an act of incorporation was obtained, providing that any in- 
habitant might change his relations from one parish to the other, by leaving 
his name with the town clerk for the purpose. The first meeting of the par- 
ish was convened, on the warrant of Levi Lincoln, sen. March 9, 1789. The 
associates, from the commencement, by a written agreement, had bound them- 
selves to pay the sum of five hundred dollars as salary. After the incorpora- 
tion, it was still deemed inexpedient to attempt the assessment of taxes. The 
amount due from each subscriber, for three years salary, was apportioned, and 
the pastor requested to settle personally with each individual. A mode of 
compensation so troublesome and painful to the clergyman, was resorted to 
from necessity alone. 

In 1789, for the purpose of aiding in the erection of a meeting house, the 
Rev. Mr. Bancroft relinquished one third part of his annual salary, not, in the 
language of his letter, from a supposition that the whole was more than ade- 
quate to decent support, but from readiness to bear full proportion of all bur- 
dens.^ It was voted, to erect a house for worship, provided it could be done 
without expense to the corporation. Subscriptions were obtained, the site 
fixed south of Antiquarian Hall, and the work commenced. On the first day 
of January, 1792, the edifice was completed and dedicated. A sermon was 
preached on the occasion, by the Rev. Zabdiel Adams of Lunenburg. The 
pews were sold, subject to an annual tax of four dollars each, to be appropri- 
ated towards the salary. 

Until this period, the expenses of the support of worship had been defrayed 
by voluntary payments. In 1797, for the first time, and afterwards, in suc- 
cessive years, a tax of $232 was levied, making, with the amount derived from 
the owners of pews, the salary of $500. In 1806, in consequence of the en- 
hanced prices of commodities, an additional grant of $200 was made to Mr. 
Bancroft. In 1810, $300 was voted, and for five years after, $100 annually ap- 
propriated for the same purpose. From 1816 to 1827, the salary was $800 ; 
subsequently $500, according to the original contract.^ 

1 Records of 2d Parish, i. 4. 
2 The uninterrupted harmony of the society, and its peaceful relations with its neighbors 
after the troubles of organization had subsided, has been the occasion of great satisfaction 
to its members. The following pleasant anecdote, related in one of the notes appended to 
Pr. Bancroft's Half-Century Sermon, has the merit of wit if not of truth. 

' A stranger of distinction, having occasion to pass some weeks in Worcester, became ac- 

170 SECOND SOCIETY. [1827. 

On the first day of January, 1827, the Rev. Alonzo Hill was inA'ited to he- 
come colleague -with Dr. Bancroft, and a salary of $800 was voted. His or- 
dination took place, on the 28th of March folloAving. The exercises were the 
following : Introductory prayer and reading of the Scriptures, by Rev. Alex- 
ander Young of the New South church, Boston ; prayer by Rev. Dr. Thadde- 
us M. Harris of Dorchester : sermon, by Rev. John Brazer of Salem : ordain- 
ing prayer, by Rev. Dr. John T. Kirkland, President of Harvard University : 
charge, by Rev. Dr. Bancroft : right hand of fellowship, by Rev. George Rip- 
ley, of the Purchase street church, Boston : address to the people by Rev. Dr. 
Nathaniel Thayer of Lancaster : concluding prayer, by Rev. Isaac Allen of 

Mr. Hill, the present junior pastor, a native of Harvard, in the county of 
Worcester, is the son of Mr. Oliver Hill, a respectable farmer of that town. 
He graduated at Harvard College, was assistant instructor at Leicester Acade- 
my from 1822, to the spring of 1824, and then pursued his studies in the the- 
ological institution at Cambridge.-' 

The new brick church, erected by the society on Main street, south from 
the Court House, was dedicated August 20, 1829, when an appropriate dis- 
course was preached by the senior pastor. 

After the election of the Rev. Mr. Hill, Dr. Bancroft relinquished, in future 
years, the sum of three hundred dollars, which he had for along time previous, 
statedly received. The parish, Jan. 29, 1827, unanimously resolved, 'that 
while we deem superfluous any encomiums upon the character and standing of 
him, whose praise has long been in all the churches, Avhere Christianity, freed 
from human inventions, is inculcated in its purity, we cannot forbear to ex- 
press the deep sense which this society entertains, of the watchful care over 
its welfare, and readiness, at all times, to sacrifice personal interest to its ad- 
vancement, which, in all past years of the history of the society, have distin- 
guished the ministry of its pastor, and Avhich, as the present act of unsolicited 
liberality afi"ords evidence, are still exhibited, in all his ministerial relations, 
with force unabated by time.^ 

The church, at a meeting, March 5, 1836, expressed their sense of the fidel- 
ity of the senior pastor. 

' Resolved, that this church, in reviewing its history from its first organiza- 
tion, feel deep cause of gratitude to God for its long continuance as a church 
of Christ, for its harmony, unanimity, and uninterrupted prosperity, 

' Resolved, that this church is much indebted, under God, to the prudence, 

quainted with the internal state of the two societies, then existing in this town ; and he 
observed to a member of the first parish, ' How does it happen that you, who profess to be 
in possession of the true faith, and claim an exalted standing in piety, are frequently in 
contention, while the second society, whom you denominate heretics, live in peace and har- 
mony ?' The reply was, ' the members of the second society have not religion enough to 
quarrel about it.' ' 

1 Rev. Mr. Hill married Frances Mary Clark, daughter of Hugh Hamilton Clark, formerly 
merchant of Boston, Dec. 29,1830. Mr. Hill has published : sermon at the ordination of 
Eev. Josiah Moore, at Athol, Dec. 8, 1830 : Reports of the Worcester Sunday School Society 
. for 1835, 1836 : sermon in Liberal Preacher, Aug. 1836. 

2 Second Parish Records, ii. 46. 

1836.] REV. AARON BANCROFT. 171 

zeal, fidelity, and untiring labors of its senior pastor, the Rev. Dr. Bancroft, 
under whose influence it was first gathered, and by wliom it has been ever 
watched over, guided, and instructed, with the tenderness of a father, and the 
earnestness and solicitude of a devoted christian minister : Therefore : 

' Resolved, That the church tender to their rev. senior pastor their grateful 
acknowledgments of his past labors, and their christian sympathies under the 
growing infirmities of a weight of years spent in their service, and the assur- 
ance of their prayers for his continued life and usefulness. 

' Resolved, That the treasurer of the church be, and he hereby is directed, 
to present to the Rev. Dr. Bancroft, two hundred dollars, out of any monies in 
the treasury not otherwise disposed of, in testimony of their aff'ectionate re- 
gard for his person, his character, and ministerial labors.' 

In a letter to the church, March 10, 1836, Dr. Bancroft writes, in answer 
to a communication of these votes, ' With you, I join in returns of gratitude 
to God, for the peace and prosperity which have attended us to the present 
time. Your approbation of my services is grateful to my heart : your pecun- 
iary donation has intrinsic value ; but its highest estimation in my mind, is, 
the evidence it bears of the feelings you cherish towards me.' 

The Rev. Aaron Bancroft, D. D. born at Reading, Mass., Nov. 10, 1755, 
was son of Samuel Bancroft, formerly an extensive landholder, deacon of the 
west church of that town, field ofiicer of militia, magistrate, and a useful and 
respected citizen. Engag d in he cultivation of the fields acquired by suc- 
cessful industry, the father considered agriculture as the best employment for 
his children, in times of political commotion, but yielded his own preference 
to the desire of the son for collegiate education. Mr. Bancroft commenced 
the study of the languages, in the moving grammar school of his native place, 
and followed an incompetent instructor in his migrations through the districts. 
During the year, while the school was temporarily suspended, he labored, at 
intervals, on the paternal farm. The settlement of a new minister, aff'orded 
a more capable teacher than the former. But during the few months of his 
tuition, the engagements of courtship and of building occupied so much of 
the attention of the master, that the pupil, after the daily walk of a mile, 
was left with the half-recited or postponed recitation, to explore his way un- 
aided through the elementary difficulties of literature. Mr. Bancroft entered 
Harvard College in 1774. The revolutionary movements of April, 1775, 
dispersed the students, and he went to his home, and worked steadily on the 
farm until the next October, when the scholars were called together at Con- 
cord, and in March of the following year, reassembled at Cambridge. The 
din of arms rose around the halls of the university. The great affairs of the 
country and the events of war, had deep interest for the government of the 
institution, and the student was compelled to rely more on his own exertions 
for improvement than on the information imparted by the professors. Having 
graduated, in 1778, Mr, Bancroft taught the town school of Cambridge for a 
few months, and then commenced his theological course with Mr. Haven, 
minister of his father's parish, a gentleman of fine intellect. In the Autumn 

172 SECOND SOCIETY. [1785. 

of 1779 he first preached, for three or four sabbaths, for the occasional assis- 
tance of clerical friends. The severity of the succeeding winter, and the ex- 
cessive depth of snow, almost suspended travelling, and he remained in the 
family of Mr. Haven, sometimes supplying his desk. A proposal from Mr. 
Barnard, of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, to visit that province, was accepted in 
the spring of 1780. Mr. Bancroft obtained permission from the executive 
council of Massachusetts, to leave the state, and resided in Yarmouth, Horton, 
Cornwallis, Annapolis, and for a few weeks in Halifax, during an absence of 
three years. Peace having been restored, he returned from the British domin- 
ions in 1783, landed at Salem in July, and the next week was invited to 
Worcester, to supply the pulpit during the illness of Mr. Maccarty. Here, 
where his labors have been so long continued, Mr. Bancroft first appeared as 
a candidate for settlement. After eight sabbaths, the temporary restoration 
of declining health enabled the minister to resume his duties. Mr. Bancroft 
was immediately engaged in vacant parishes. In the spring of 1784, he was 
solicited to become pastor of the church in that part of Stoughton, now Can- 
ton, but felt constrained to decline. In the same year, he officiated in East 
Windsor, Connecticut. In October, 1784, he again visited Worcester, and 
after conducting the religious services of five or six sabbaths, went to Sand- 
Avich, in the county of Barnstable, where the desire of the most influential 
members of the society to secure his permanent residence, was prevented 
from public and formal expression, by his own reluctance to receive a call. 
On a third invitation, he returned to Worcester, in Jan. 1785, and in March 
following, that connection was formed with the second congregational society, 
which has continued for more than fifty years. 

Unitarian sentiments, explicitly avowed, separated Mr. Bancroft from that 
friendly communication with professional neighbors, which lightens and cheers 
the labors of the clergyman, and for seven years, he stood almost alone. 
Within this period, he exchanged once a year with the Rev. Messrs. Harring- 
ton and Adams, occasionally with some ministers in Boston, and with one in 
Salem, and twice only with others of the vicinity. Efforts of some liberal 
members of the clerical association of the county, to procure his admission, 
opposed by those who were unwilling to hold intercourse with one entertain- 
ing opinions they deemed heretical, drove the more tolerant from that body, 
and led to its temporary dissolution. It was afterwards reestablished on 
foundation less exclusive. In some years, when the enhanced prices of the 
necessaries of life rendered a moderate salary inadequate for comfortable 
maintenance, the deficiency of income was partially supplied by the emolu- 
ment of instruction to young men, and to the daughters of parishioners, the 
reception of boarders, and literary labors. Most men would have yielded to 
depression of spirits under circumstances so disheartening, and sought easier 
task, and more peaceful position. The society, in its early days, embarrassed 
by difficulties, and pressed by angry opposition, would, in all probability, 
have been dissolved, if unsustained by his perseverance and firmness. Much 
of the prosperity of later years was derived from his pecuniary sacrifices, and 

1821.] KEV. AARON BANCROFT. 173 

unwearied exertions, or resulted from the independence and prudence of his 

The Life of Washington, in one volume octavo, came from the press in 
1807. The popular and familiar style and faithful narrative of this work, 
gave it extensive sale. A stereotype edition, in two volumes, 12mo, was 
published in Boston, in 1826, as one of the series of Bedlington's Cabinet 

In 1821, Dr. Bancroft delivered a series of doctrinal discourses, which 
were printed on the request of the hearers. In relation to these sermons, the 
late President John Adams, thus expresses himself, Jan. 24, 1823. ' I thank 
you for your kind letter of Dec. 30th, and above all, for the gift of a precious 
volume. It is a chain of diamonds set in links of gold. I have never read, 
nor heard read, a volume of sermons better calculated and adapted to the age 
and country in which it was written. How different from the sermons I heard 
and read in the town of Worcester from the year 1755 to 1758.' . . . . ' You 
may well suppose, that I have heard controversies enough : but, after all, I 
declare to you, that your twenty-nine sermons have expressed the result of all 
my reading, experience, and reflections, in a manner more satisfactory to me, 
than I could have done in the best days of my strength.'^ 

1 One of his parishioners addressed the minister thus : ' Well, Mr. Bancroft, what do 
you think the people of the old society say of you now ? ' ' Something good, I hope/ was 
the reply. ' Why, they say, it is time to let you alone, for if they find fault with you, you 
do not regard it, and if they praise you, you do not mind it, but keep steadily on in your 
own way.' 

* The publications of Dr. Bancroft are the following : 1. Sermon at the ordination of Rev. 
Samuel Shuttlesworth, June 23, 1790, at Windsor, Vt. 2. Sermon before the Grand Lodge 
of Massachusetts, June 11, 1793, at Worcester. 3. Sermon on the execution of Samuel 
Frost, for murder, July 16, 1793, at Worcester. 4. Sermon at the installation of Rev. 
Clark Brown, June 20, 1798, at Brimfield. 5. Eulogy on General Washington, Feb. 22, 
ISOO, at Worcester. 6. Election Sermon, May 27, 1801. 7. Address on the importance of 
education, at the opening of a new building at Leicester Academy, July 4, 1806. 8. Life 
of General AVashington, Worcester, 1807. 8vo. pp. 552. Stereotype, Boston, 1826. 2 
vols. 12mo. 9. Sermon at the ordination of Rev. Nathan Parker, Sept. 14, 1808, at Ports- 
mouth, N. H. 10. Sermon before Society for promotion of christian knowledge, piety and 
charity, May 29, 1810, at Boston. 11. New Year's Sermon, Jan. 6, 1811, 12. Nature and 
worth of Christian Liberty, sermon, June 28, 1816, at Worcester, with an appendix, con- 
taining the history of Consociation ; 2 editions. 13. Duties of the Fourth Commandment, 
sermon, Jan. 1817, at Worcester; 2 editions. 14. Vindication of the result of a mutual 
council at Princeton, March, 1817. 15. Discourse on Conversion, April, 1818. 16. The 
Leaf an emblem of Human Life, sermon on the death of Mrs. Mary Thomas, Nov. 22, 1818. 
17. The Doctrine of Immortality, Christmas sermon, 1818. 18. Sermon at the installation 
of Rev. Luther Wilson, June 23, 1819, at Petersham. 19. Sermon before the Convention of 
Congregational Ministers, June 1, 1820. 20, Sermons on the Doctrines of the Gospel, 
Worcester, 1822, 8vo. pp. 429. 21. Mediation and ministry of Jesus Christ, sermon, Aug. 
16, 1819, at Keene, N. H. 22, Moral purpose of Ancient Sacrifices, of the Mosaic Ritual, 
and of Christian Observances, sermon, Aug. 15, 1819, at Keene, N. H. 23. Sermon at the 
installation of Rev. Andrew Bigelow, July 9, 1823, at Medford. 24. Duties of Parents, ser- 
mon, Aug. 10, 1823, at Worcester. 25. Sermon before the Auxiliary Society for meliora- 
ting the condition of the Jews, April 23, 1824, at Worcester. 26. Sermon at the funeral of 
Rev. Dr. Joseph Sumner, Dec. 30, 1824. 27. Sermon on the death of Prest. John Adams, 
July 19, 1826. 28, Sermon on the Sabbath following the ordination of Rev, Alonzo Hill, 

174 SECOND SOCIETT. [1836. 

On the 31st of January, 1836, Dr. Bancroft delivered a discourse on the 
termination of fifty years of his ministry, afterwards printed in compliance 
•with the request of the society, with interesting and valuable historical notes. 
• If the question of improvement has respect to the members of the Society,' 
he says, ' who are the individuals to whom I can appeal ? They, who with 
me began their course of Christian improvement are removed from life ; but 
one man remains, of those who invited me to settle with them as their minis- 
ter ; and but two women now live, who at that time were heads of families. I 
am the oldest man in the parish, with one exception, and. his connection with 
us was but of yesterday. I have been longer in a married state with one wife, 
than any other living member of our community. I have outlived my gener- 
ation ; and in the midst of society, may be considered a solitary man.' 

Doct. Bancroft, was member of the Board of Trustees of Leicester Acade- 
my for thirty years, and long its President ; President of the Worcester Coun- 
ty Bible Society ; of the American Unitarian Association, from its organiza- 
tion in 1825 to 1836 ; and of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 
Piety, and Charity ; Vice President of the Worcester and Middlesex Mission- 
ary Society, afterward merged in the Evangelical Missionary Society ; and of 
the American Antiquarian Society, from 1816 to 1832 : Fellow of the Ameri- 
can Academy of Arts and Sciences, and member of other societies. His long- 
continued and persevering exertions in the cause of education, contributed 
greatly to the introduction and establishment of the improved school system 
of the town. In 1810, he received the degree of Doctor of Divinity from Har- 
vard University. 

The oldest clergyman in the county of Worcester, and one of the most aged 
ministers of Massachusetts, Dr. Bancroft continues to officiate in the pulpit. 
May that period be yet far distant, when biography shall speak fully of the 
merits of his works, the worth of his character, and the virtues of his life. 

April 8, 1827. 29. Sermon at the dedication of the New Unitarian Meeting House, Aug. 
20, 1829. 30-1-2. Sermons in Liberal Preacher : Office of Reason in the Concerns of Relig- 
ion, July, 1827. Female Duties and Trials, Aug. 1828. Importance of Salvation, August 
1830. 33. End of the commandments, sermon in Christian Monitor. 34. A Glance at the 
past and present state of ecclesiastical affairs in Massachusetts, in Unitarian Advocate, 
Jan. 1831. 35. Moral Power of Christianity, in Western Messenger, i. 350. 36. Sermon 
on the termination of fifty years of his ministry, Jan. 31, 1836. 

Dr. Bancroft was married to Lucretia, daughter of Judge John Chandler, Oct. 1786. 

1797. A clock for the tower was presented by Isaiah Thomas, Esq. to the Second Socie- 
ty, and an elegant folio Bible in two volumes, for the pulpit, by his lady. In 1817, the 
same liberal individual made a donation of two cups for the communion service ; the old 
furniture of the table was given by the church to the Evangelical Missionary Society, to be 
by them bestowed on some new church gathered under their auspices. 1829. A donation of a 
baptismal basin was made by F. W. Paine, Esq. 1832. Nathaniel Maccarty, Esq. be- 
queathed to the church $76. 

1812.] riBST BAPTIST SOCIETY. 175 


First Baptist Society, Formation, 1812, Rev. William Bentley. Articles of Faith. Rev. 
Jonathan Going. Rev. Frederic A. Willard. Rev. Jonathan Aldrich. Elm Street Socie- 
ty, 1836. Calvinist Society. Separation from first church, 1820. Formation of Society, 
1822, Rev. Loammi I. Hoadley. House and Fund bestowed by Hon. Daniel Waldo. 
Rev, .John S. C. Abbott. Rev. David Peabody. Catholic Society, 1834. Rev. James Fit- 
ton. Methodist Episcopal Society, 1834. Protestant Episcopal Society, 1835. Rev. 
Thomas H. Vail. Union Society, 1836. 

Previous to 1795, there were three persons, only, of the Baptist denomi- 
nation in Worcester.^ In the spring of that year, James Wilson, Esq.,^ emi- 
grating from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in England, took up his residence here. 
During the long period intervening between 1795 and 1812, meetings for 
religious Avorship were sometimes held in his own house, when the casual vis- 
its of teachers offered opportunity of obtaining the ministration of instructors 
of the order. Those of similar sentiments were successively removed by 
death; their places were not filled : and for a time he remained the solitary 
advocate and supporter of those views of Christian ordinances asserted by the 
church with which he was united. But, although alone, he cherished the 
leading purpose of his life, and became the founder of the Baptist society. 
By his zealous and persevering exertions, an association was formed under 
favorable circumstances. Some discourses of Dr. Austin, on national and 
state fasts, gave offence to many of the eldest parish. The facilities for pro- 
curing ministers had increased. Accessions of numbers were derived from 
the swelling population. In 1812, lectures and devotional exercises were had, 
regularly on the Sabbath, and on other days of the week, in different places 
of the town. The Hall in the School House of the Centre District was 
rented, and opened for stated worship on the Lord's Day, July 30,1812. 
Opposition gave that excitement desirable to strengthen and cement union, 
even if higher feelings had not rendered the connection of the associates per- 
manent. On the 28th of September, Elder William Bentley, on the unani- 
mous request of the members of the association, entered into an engagement 
to preach for them on a salary of $300 per annum, and an allowance of four 
Sundays of the year for visits. The sum appointed for his compensation was 
defrayed by the contribution of individuals, parties to an agreement to pay 
the amount in proportions fixed by the terms of their subscriptions. On the 
5th of November, a meeting of those who held church membership was had, 
and it was voted, ' to form a church, by the name of " the Baptist Church in 
Worcester," and the following confession of faith was adopted. ^ 

^ Dr. John Green, son of Thomas Green, founder of the Baptist church in Leicester, 
Mr. Amos Putnam, an aged member of the church in Charlton, and Mrs. Dolly Flagg, a 
female advanced in years, connected with the first Baptist church in Boston. 

2 James Wilson, Esq. Postmaster of Worcester from 1801 to 1833, deacon of the first 
Baptist church here from its foundation, removed, -with his family, to Cincinnati, Ohio, in 

8 The same articles had been adopted by the Firgt Baptist Church, in Portland, Maine. 


' As the church of Christ is made up of a number of persons, who are 
renewed by divine grace, and united in the fellowship of the Gospel ; and as 
that fellowship consists in a unison of sentiments, interest and aSection ; and 
as two cannot walk together, except they be agreed, we think it our duty to 
make the following declaration of our views of divine truth : for the satisfac- 
tion of any who may wish to unite with us in church fellowship ; which dec- 
laration is as follows : 

' We believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament were written 
by men divinely inspired, and that God requires of us, to believe in, and 
embrace them as our only rule of faith and practice, and that among others 
they contain the following all-important truths. 

' 1. The existence of one only, living, and true God, infinite in all excel- 
lence, immutable, eternal, self sufficient, and independent, who created all 
things, and who upholds, governs, and disposes of them for his own glory. 

'2. That in one God there are three persons, the Father, Son, and Holy 
Ghost ; the same in essence, and equal in every divine perfection. 

' 3. That all God's works of creation, providence, and grace, ever have 
been, still are, and ever will be accomplished, according to his own will ; 
which he purposed in himself before the world began. 

' 4. That man was created holy, but, by wilfully violating the law of his 
Maker, he fell from his first rectitude ; and as Adam was the father, and rep- 
resentative of all his posterity, we, in him, became wholly defiled and dead 
in trespasses and sins : so that by nature we are indisposed to all good, and 
wholly inclined to all evil : and are children of wrath, and subjects of death, 
and of all other miseries, temporal, spiritual, and eternal. 

' 5. That the only way of salvation from this state of guilt and condemna- 
tion, is, through the righteousness and atonement of Jesus Christ, who as 
the good shepherd, laid down his life for his sheep ; that he might redeem 
them from all iniquity, and purify to himself a peculiar people, zealous of 
good works : and those only who receive the gift of repentance and faith in 
him, will be finally saved by the atonement. 

' 6. That all, who ever have been or will be brought to repentance and faith 
in the gospel, were chosen in Christ to salvation, before the foundation of the 
world ; and that, in consequence of the eternal love of God to them, through 
the atonement, the Holy Ghost is sent to efi"ect the work of regeneration in their 
hearts, without which regenerating influence, none would ever repent or believe. 

' 7. That the perfect righteousness of Christ, which he wrought out by his 
obedience and death, is reckoned or imputed to those who believe, as the 
alone matter of their justification. 

' 8. That nothing can separate true believers from the love of God, but 
they will be kept by his power, through faith unto salvation. 

' 9. That the only proper subjects of the ordinances of baptism and the 
Lord's Supper, are professed believers in Christ ; and that baptism is properly 
administered, only by immersing the Avhole body in water, in the name of the 
Father, Son and Holy Ghost : and is by Scripture example, a prerequisite to 
communion at the Lord's table. 


* 10. That the true church of Christ on earth, is made up of those, who are 
renewed by grace, partake of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, united in the 
fellowship of the truth, and are as lively stones built up in a spiritual house, 
to offer spiritual sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. That 
the only oiRcers to be ordained in the church, are Bishops or teaching Elders, 
and Deacons. That those officers have no more power to decide matters for 
the church, than any other members. Yet we believe, so far as their gifts and 
graces may enable them to lead the church to a right judgment according to 
the Scriptures, we are to submit to them, for they watch for our souls, as they 
that must give an account in the day of judgment. 

'11. That God hath appointed a day, in which he will judge the world in 
righteousness, by Christ Jesus, and that the bodies of both the righteous and 
the wicked will then be raised from their graves and again united to their 
souls, and appear before God to be judged according to the deeds done in the 
body ; at which time the wicked will be sentenced to endless punishment, 
and the righteous be received into eternal glory and happiness, where they 
will be ever with the Lord.' 

The 9th of December was fixed for the constitution of the church, the re- 
ception of fellowship from others, and the installation of the pastor elect. 
The use of the old south meeting house was formally solicited, and obtained 
from the selectmen and assessors. The clergyman of the first and second 
societies were courteously invited to attend on the occasion. On the evening 
previous to the ceremonies, a note was sent by Dr. Austin, refusing to be 
present ; declining to countenance proceedings which, in his view, indicated 
hostility to union, and interference with endeavors to promote the kingdom of 
Christ in the world ; declaring that Mr. Bentley, ' originally excited by some, 
seconded by others, whose sectarian zeal carried them beyond a regard to 
several of the primary precepts of the Gospel, had commenced and was pros- 
ecuting a partizan warfare against the harmony and prosperity of the church 
and congregation under his care ;' complaining that the occupation of his pul- 
pit would be ' against full expression of personal feeling, the rights of the 
christian ministry, the order of Christ's house, and the laws of the land :' and 
expressing ' determination not officiously to interrupt,' and ' wish not to be 
interrupted, in the prosecution of a work, consigned to him, as he hoped, by 
the Redeemer of Zion.' This communication rendered a change of place nec- 
essary. Application was made to Dr. Bancroft for leave to occupy his desk,^ 
which was freely given, and the exercises of installation were in the meeting 
house of the second parish. The first church in Providence, and the churches 
in Leicester, Charlton, Grafton, and Sutton, by their elders or delegates, were 
represented in council. Discourses were preached, in the forenon, by the 
Rev. Joseph Cornell, and in the afternoon, by Rev. Stephen Gano of Provi- 
dence. The right hand of fellowship was tendered by the latter elder. The 
church, at this time, numbered fourteen males, and fourteen females, among 
its members. 

The erection of a meeting house was commenced, May 29, 1813. It was 
placed on the slight eminence, eastward from the burial place, adjoining the com- 

178 riEST BAPTIST CHTTKCH. [1812. 

mon. The site was purchased for the consideration of $100, by subscription 
of the church, and conveyed to their committee, in trust for the society. The 
building was completed, Dec. 13, of the same year, at an expense of $2459, 
principally defrayed by the sale of pews. It was dedicated, Dec. 23, 1813, 
when a sermon was preached by Elder Bentley. 

Elder William Bentley first followed the business of a baker in Boston. 
He received ordination, and settled in the ministry, at Tiverton, R. I. Well 
fitted to be the pioneer of a religious enterprise, he was called thence by the 
society founded in Worcester, in its infancy. He removed to Wethersfield, 
in Connecticut, after a few months : was pastor of the church there : and has 
since been much employed in missionary exertions. 

On the 30th of June, 1815, Mr. Bentley asked and received dismission. On 
the third of November following, the Rev. Jonathan Going accepted a call to 
settle as successor, on a salary of $400 annually. Having been previously 
ordained as a minister of the Gospel, there were no public ceremonies on 
assuming the office in Worcester, The stipend was increased by occasional 
grants. In 1819, it was $500 : in 1820, $600 : the next year, $550 : from 
1823 to 1826, the original compensation of $400 was paid; afterwards $500. 

An act of incorporation was obtained, June 8, 1819, and the first meet- 
ing of the parish held, August 16, under the warrant of Hon. Daniel 

In April, 1831, the Rev. Mr. Going had leave of absence from parochial 
and pastoral duties, to enable him to prosecute a journey to the West, for the 
restoration of health, and for missionary labors. In January, 1832, he 
requested dismission. During a ministry of sixteen years, the society had 
increased from a handful to a large congregation. The connection of pastor 
and parish had been one of uninterrupted harmony. The intimation of his 
intention to remove, was received with ' an expression of regret by words and 
tears, that circumstances had led to this result.' ' Do you then,' he says, in a 
communication to the church, ' ask me, why leave us ? My answer is ; not 
that I love the Baptist church and society in Worcester less ; but that I 
love the body of Baptists, and the multitudes who are destitute in the United 
States, more. During my whole ministry, I have felt constrained by a sense 
of duty, to devote much attention to works of religious charity, and, espec- 
ially, for several years past, more time than is consistent with the highest 
advantages of a particular church. Besides, I have felt a deep solicitude, for 
some years, in the moral condition of the West. And my late tour has set- 
tled that solicitude, in full conviction of my duty to devote myself to the 
interests of home missions, particularly in the Valley of the Mississippi. 
Plainly, a mighty effort must be made ; and by the body of evangelical chris- 
tians in the Atlantic States ; and made soon ; or ignorance and popery, heresy 
and infidelity, will entrench themselves too strongly to be repulsed. And, in 
that case, it is morally certain, that our republic will be overturned, and our 
institutions, civil and religious, will be demolished.' ... . ' To the existence 
and success of the projected Baptist Home Mission Society, it is indispensa- 
ble, that the whole time and energies of some man should be devoted j and 

1832.] EEV. J. GOING. REV. F. A. WILLARD. 179 

our friends, whose opinions ought to determine questions of this sort, have 
said this work belonged to me.' 

In complying with the request of Mr. Going, and dissolving his connection, 
church and parish strongly expressed affection for his person, respect for his 
character, and gratitude for his services. 

The Rev. Jonathan Going, was born at Reading, in Windsor county, Vt. 
March 7, 1786. After brief attendance on the common schools of a country 
then recently planted, he commenced preparations for college, in 1803, at the 
academy of New Salem, Mass. ; entered Brown University in 1805 ; gradu- 
ated in 1809; and read divinity with the late president of that institution, 
the Rev. Dr. Asa Messer. In May, 1813, he received ordination, as the first 
settled minister of Cavendish, in his native county, where he resided until 
December, 1815. He then assumed the pastoral charge of the Baptist church 
in Worcester, which was retained for sixteen years. In January, 1832, it was 
resigned, for the purpose of accepting the office of Corresponding Secretary 
of the American Baptist Home Mission Society. He has since resided in the 
city of New York, in the discharge of its duties. 

In the early part of his ministry here, Mr. Going instructed the Latin 
Grammar school during one year. In the arduous labors which matured the 
improved system of education, and superintended its operations in elevating 
the common schools of the town to high excellence, he bore active and efficient 
part. The registers, indicating the degree of fidelity in the teacher and assid- 
uity of the pupils, were introduced by him. One of the first Sabbath schools 
of the county was established, under his direction, in the Baptist society in 

Mr. Going received the degree of Master of Arts, at Brown University and 
the University of Vermont, in 1818 ; and that of Doctor of Divinity from 
Waterville College, Me. in 1832, In addition to the preparation of reports, 
addresses, and papers for periodicals, he has been, two years, editor of the 
American Baptist, a religious newspaper published weekly in New York. 

The paternal ancestors of Mr. Going were from Scotland : the maternal, 
from England. Robert Going, or Gowing, came from Edinburgh, settled in 
Lynn, Mass. at an early period, and was admitted freeman, in Dedham, Mass. 
in 1Q44. The father of the subject of this notice, Capt. Jonathan Going, 
born in Lunenburgh, Mass. 1761, and still living in the state of New York, 
married Sarah Kendall of Dunstable, Mass. in 1785.^ 

The Rev. Frederic A. Willard, who had supplied the pulpit three months 
previously, was elected pastor, without dissenting voice, January 2, 1832, and 
a salary of $500, was voted. The first Baptist church in Boston, the church- 
es of Leicester, Spencer, West Boylston, Grafton, Sutton, Northampton, and 
the Newton Theological Seminary, attended in council at the ordination, on 
the 18th of the same month. The Scriptures were read by Rev. John Green 
of Leicester ; the introductory prayer ofi'ered by Rev. Otis Converse of Graf- 
ton : the sermon preached by Professor Henry J. Ripley of the Seminary in 
Newton : the church and people addressed by Rev. Jonathan Going : the 

1 Rev. Jonathan Going married Lucy Thorndike, of Dunstable, Mass. August 1811. 


right hand of fellowship offered by Rev. William Hague of Boston ; and the 
concluding prayer made by Rev. John Walker of Sutton. 

Regarding the evils of intemperance, and its desolating effects on the hap- 
piness of individuals, public and private virtue, and the welfare of the com- 
munity, it was declared, May 22, 1834, to be the strong and deliberate con- 
viction of the church, that the time had arrived, when no professed disciple of 
Christ, could manufacture, buy, sell, or use, ardent spirit, as a drink, without 
being guilty of immorality, and violating his profession as a christian : and it 
was resolved, that entire abstinence from the manufacture, use, and sale of this 
article, should be an invariable condition for membership and good standing.* 

The father of Rev. Frederic A. Willard, Benjamin Willard, formerly of 
Lancaster, an elder of the Baptist Church, now resident in Northampton, per- 
sonally conducted the early literary education of the son : the closing portion 
of studies preparatory to entering college, was pursued under the direction of 
Rev. Abiel Fisher, then of Bellingham, Mass. He graduated at Amherst col- 
lege, 1826. During the year following, Mr. Willard was connected with the 
Clinical School of Medicine, at Woodstock, Vt. : in 1827, was matriculated 
as member of the Newton Theological Institution, and received a professional 
diploma in 1830. In 1831, an appointment by the trustees of Waterville 
College in Maine, to the Professorship of Chemistry, was declined. After 
leaving his official station in Worcester, he accepted an invitation to become 
pastor of the first Baptist church, in Newton, Mass. where he now resides.^ 

On the 30th of July, 1835, Mr. Willard resigned his office. On the 17th 
of October following, the Rev. Jonathan Aldrich was elected his successor. 
The annual salary has been $700. 

The services at the public recognition of this gentleman, Oct. 27, 1835, 
were : reading of Scripture by Rev. George Waters of Holden ; prayer by 
Rev. Charles O. Kimball of Methuen : sermon by Rev. Baron Stow of Bos- 
ton : charge by Rev. Abisha Sampson of Southborough : hand of fellowship 
by Rev. Frederic A. Willard : address to the church and society by Rev. Charles 
Train of Framingham : prayer by Rev. John Walker of Sutton : benediction 
by Rev. Mr. Aldrich. 

Rev. Jonathan Aldrich, son of Asquire Aldrich, a worthy farmer of St. 
Johnsbury, Vt., prepared for college in the Academy of Peacham, Vt. and un- 
der the tuition of Rev. Mr. Fisher of Bellingham : received his degree from 
Brown University, 1826 : pursued theological studies in the Newton Semina- 
ry: was ordained at Dedham, Mass. in December, 1827, where he remained 
nearly three years : installed at Beverly, Mass. May 1830 : and at East Cam- 
bridge in June 1833.^ 

It had been considered expedient to form a second society. Mr. John 
Flagg, Isaac Davis, Esq. and Deacon Daniel Goddard, were incorporated, 

1 Oct. 2, 1827. A bequest of $1000 was made to the society by the last will and testa- 
ment of Mr. John Goodale, who died May 2, 1827, aged 82, and it was voted to erect a 
monument to his memory, with a suitable inscription. 

2 Mr. Willard married Mary, daughter of Seth Davis, Esq. of Newton, May 1, 1835. 

3 Mr. Aldrich married Catherine P. daughter of Mr. Asa Lewis, formerly of Boston, since 
of Worcester, April 2, 1828. 


April 6, 1836, with their associates and successors, as proprietors of the Elm 
Street Baptist meeting house. A site was purchased for the building, west- 
ward from the Worcester house. After the destruction of the place of wor- 
ship of the first Baptist church by fire, the members of the new association 
reunited with the original parish, in rearing another edifice on the spot before 
occupied with that which had been burned. 


About the period of the settlement of the Rev. Mr. Goodrich, difficulties 
arose in the first parish, increased and extended upon the separation of Rev. 
Dr. Austin, and by the disciplinary measures instituted against the disaff"ected. 
Deacon David Richards, and four other members, retired from the watch of 
the church, and from the support of the society, and on the 16th of January, 
1819, asked to be dismissed and recommended to other churches. The re- 
quest was granted, so far only as related to dismission, but recommendation 
was refused. Five applicants, at the same time, for similar purposes, had 
leave to withdraw their petitions. Nine individuals more, soon after, united 
with the former, in soliciting the dissolution of their relations, and the cus- 
tomary credentials of good standing, with the expressed intention of forming 
a new society. The reason assigned by all, in substance, was, that they could 
not experience edification and improvement from the ministrations of the pas- 
tor. The church declined compliance with the request. Those who consid- 
ered themselves aggrieved by its decision, immediately invited an ecclesiastical 
council, to consider their situation, determine the propriety of establishing a 
separate and distinct church, and eff"ect its organization if deemed expedient. 
By their ministers and delegates, the Old South Church in Boston, and the 
churches of Charlestown, Northbridge, Millbury, Upton, Ward, and Sutton, 
met, on the 17th of February, 1819. The Rev. Jedediah Morse was elected 
moderator. Their result recommended those who had already been dismissed, 
to the fellowship of churches, to which they were afterwards united. The 
council paused here, and awaiting further light from future events of Provi- 
dence, adjourned their session, but were not again called to assemble. On 
the 18th of March succeeding, seventeen persons asked dismission and rec- 
ommendation. The first church proposed to submit the regularity of their an- 
terior proceedings, and the propriety of granting the pending application, to 
the decision of a mutual council, which was declined. It was subsequently 
voted, that the church did not feel able to comply with the request, nor will- 
ing to reject it, but were in doubt, and wished for advice. A final answer 
was waived ; the members did not renew their petition, but joined the Bap- 
tist Society in April, although they continued to commune with the first 
church. On the 2d of June, 1820, acting on the principle, that uniting and 
worshipping with another denomination, and withholding pecuniary support, 
was virtual separation, it was declared, that the individuals not dismissed, had, 
by their own acts, cut themselves off from the privileges of the first church. 
Thus parted from all relations with any religious association, they invited an 
ecclesiastical council, which convened, Aug. 16, 1820, from the churches in 


Franklin, Northbridge, Sutton, Upton, Wrentham, Ward, and Park Street in 
Boston. Rev. Nathaniel Emmons of Franklin, was elected moderator. The 
result, expressed approval of constituting a regular church from the appli- 
cants, and it was accordingly organized.-' 

Subsequently, proposals were made by the first church, on conditions which 
were considered exceptionable, to submit to a mutual council the whole sub- 
ject of the subsisting difficulties. Conferences were held by committees of 
the two bodies, terminating, after long negotiation, in the conclusion, that it 
was possible only to agree to remain separate. 

On the 8th of February, 1822, a meeting of the Calvlnist church, and of 
those associating with them for religious purposes, was held, for the organiza- 
tion of a society, according to the laws of the Commonwealth. Daniel Wal- 
do, David Richards, William McFarland, John W. Hubbard, Moses N. Child, 
Samuel Taylor, Benjamin Goddard, and Jonas Parker, bound themselves, to 
defray, out of their private property, the expenses of supporting public wor- 
ship for five years, deducting such sums as might be voluntarily contributed 
fbgr others. 

Pvegular worship was commenced, on the first Sabbath of April, 1822, in 
;the Cof^jrt House. The pulpit was supplied by Rev. Thomas J. Murdock, 
then l^te of Portland ; Mr. Washington Smith of Hadley, since ordained in 
,St. A bans, "Vt. ; Mr. Elam Clark, afterwards settled in Providence, R. I.; 
Mr. Joseph Torrey of Salem, subsequently minister of Royalston, Vt. and 
1 thence called to be Professor of Languages in the University of Vermont. 

The Rev. Loammi Ives Hoadley preached his first sermon to the congrega- 

itioji, Oct. 20, tl'822, under an engagement for two or three sabbaths. He 

was afterwards induced, to remain, reserving liberty to retire at pleasure. In 

; March, 1823, he \\:p,s invited to Taunton. The church immediately requested 

; his pernianent settienvent as their pastor. The concurrence of the society was 

.given to this call, oj\ the 14th of Apiil following. The stated salary was 

• $800 : and provision was,,3Qaade, that pastor or parish might dissolve the con- 

; tract, ?ifter one year's previous notice of desire to separate. The ordination 

services took place October 15, 1823. The introductory prayer was off'ered 

by Rev. Joel Hawes of H?irtford, Conn. : the sermon preached by Rev. Ly- 

nr^an Beecher of Litchfield, Conn. : ordaining prayer made by Rev. Edmund 

Mills of Sutton, moderator of the council : the charge delivered by Rev. Elisha 

Fiske of Wrentham ; the right hand of fellowship presented by Rev. Baxter 

^Dickinson of Long Meadow : the address to the people was by Rev. William 

B. Sprague of West Springfield : e,nd the concluding prayer by Rev. Benja- 

. min Wood of Upton. 

A committee of the first chuxch had appeared before the council, instructed 
! >to object to proceedings conforming to the request of ' those persons styling 
, themselves the Calvinist Church.' Most of , them, it was stated, in a protest 

1 Full naorj-ative of the proceedings, «ilat)orate diseussipns of their regularity, and ample 
, exposition of the views of the contending parties, are eqntained in a series of publications 
, enumerated o^ page 162. The whole axs .eontaiaed iu,(^a. octavo volume in the Library of 
, I the A^merij!.9.ri 4.V,tiquarian Society. 

1825.] MR. Waldo's donation. 183 

offered by the chairman, held such attitude, that they could not, with proprie- 
ty, be recognized as a regular church of Christ : they were considered as un- 
der censure : having rejected proposals of settling controversy by the inter- 
vention of mutual council, they could not, consistently with the objects of dis- 
cipline, be held in fellowship, collectively or individually, until proofs of peni- 
tence for the fault of separation, or the judgment by which they had been sent 
forth should be overruled by a competent tribunal. The council determined, 
that the official result constituting the Calvinist church, was evidence of its 
regular existence ; disclaimed authority to reverse the acts of the ecclesiasti- 
cal body for its organization ; and declined receiving the remonstrance. 

A meeting house had been erected by the Hon. Daniel Waldo, at the cost 
of about $14,000, on Main street. The dedication was had on the same day 
with the ordination, and the society removed from the Court House, to their 
permanent place of worship. Selections from the Scriptures were read by 
Rev. Benjamin B. Wisner of the Old South church in Boston; prayer offered 
by Rev. Samuel Green of the Essex street church in Boston ; and the ser- 
mon delivered by Rev. Dr. Samuel Austin, then of Newport, R. I. 

The house, and the land upon which it was built, were conveyed, July 9, 
1825, by Mr. Waldo, for the use and benefit of the church and society. A 
donation of five thousand dollars was added to this great benefaction. The 
income and interest were secured to be appropriated towards the payment of 
the salary of such pastor as should have been elected, ordained, and settled, 
conformably to the rules and usages of congregational calvinistic churches and 
societies in this Commonwealth. ' The Trustees of the Parochial Funds of 
the Calvinist society in Worcester,' were incorporated, Feb. 2, 1827, by an 
act of the Legislature, to hold the property upon the trusts declared in the in- 
struments of conveyance. Vacancies in the corporation are filled by the votes 
of owners of pews. 

On the 28th of June, 1828, several of the most honored among the calvinis- 
tic clergymen of Massachusetts, visitants of the town on occasion of special 
devotional exercises, in view of the difficulties so long existing, and of their 
unhappy consequences to the parties and cause of religion, by letter of advice, 
expressed the opinion, that the controversies should, without delay, be adjus- 
ted. Although they considered the doings of the First church, in the disci- 
pline of the persons organized as the Calvinist church, and those of the latter 
association, in rejecting proposals for a mutual council, as erroneous, and not, 
in all respects, in accordance with strict ecclesiastical rule, yet they consid- 
ered, that each might, consistently with duty, acknowledge the other as a 
church of Christ. In compliance with their earnest recommendation, on the 
following day, the members of both churches united in participating the sac- 
rament of the Lord's Supper, as a public testimonial of intention to reestablish 
and maintain christian fellowship. 

The illness of Mr. Hoadley requiring temporary relinquishment of labor, 
his request for dismission was granted, June 5, 1829, and the sum of $500 
voted, to aid him in defraying unavoidable expenses while seeking means of 
support in some mode less detrimental to health than ministerial duties. 


The Rev. Mr. Hoadley, a native of Northford, New Haven county, Conn, 
graduated at Yale College in 1818, and studied at the Theological Seminary, 
in Andover, with which he was connected after his removal from Worcester. 
He now resides in Charlestown, Mass. 

On the 9th of December, 1829, the Rev. J. S. C. Abbott accepted the 
unanimous invitation to become successor to Mr. Hoadley, with a salary of 
$900. The churches of Millbury, Paxton, Leicester, Hartford, Shrewsbury, 
Holden, West Boylston, Sutton, Boylston, Ward, Cambridge, Cambridgeport, 
Grafton, the church in the Theological Seminary at Andover, the Old South and 
Union churches in Boston, the Presbyterian church in Millbury, and the first 
church in Worcester, were represented in the ordaining council, January 28, 1830. 
These were the exercises : prayer by Rev. John Nelson of Leicester ; sermon 
by Rev. Joel Hawes of Hartford, Conn. : ordaining prayer by Rev. Samuel 
Green, of the Union church, Boston ; right hand of fellowship by Rev. Nehe- 
miah Adams of Cambridge ; concluding prayer by Rev. John Boardman of 
West Boylston. 

The articles of faith, originally adopted in 1820, were copied from those of 
the first church. In 1831, a confession, more brief in form and simpler in 
language, expressing, substantially, the same views of Christian doctrine, was 

' 1. We believe that there is one God, the Creator, and rightful disposer of 
all things, existing as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and that to these three 
persons, as the one God, all divine perfections are to be equally ascribed. 

' 2. That the Bible was given by inspiration of God, as the only unerring 
rule of faith and practise. 

' 3. That mankind are fallen from their original rectitude, and are, while in 
a state of nature, wholly destitute of that holiness which is required by the 
divine law. 

' 4. That Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word, became man, and by his obedi- 
ence, suff"erings, and death, made an atonement for the sins of the world. 

' 5. That they, and they only, will be saved in consequence of the merits 
of Christ, who repent of sin and believe in him. 

' 6. That although the invitations of the gospel are such that all who will 
may come, and take of the waters of life freely : yet the wickedness of the 
human heart is such, that none will come, unless drawn by the special influ- 
ence of the Holy Spirit. 

' 7. That the sacraments of the New Testament are Baptism and the Lord's 
Supper : baptism to be administered only to believers and their households, 
and the supper only to believers in regular church standing. 

' 8. That God has appointed a day in which he will judge the world, when 
there will be a resurrection of the dead, and when the righteous will enter on 
eternal happiness, and the wicked will be sentenced to eternal misery.' 

In consequence of the earnest exertions of philanthropists to promote tem- 
perance, the church, Feb. 28, 1833, by resolutions, declared, that dealing in 
ardent spirits was considered an immorality ; and that it was the duty of the 

1835.] REV. JOHN S. C. ABBOTT. 185 

members to abstain totally from the use and traffic, except in case of necessity 
and as medicine. 

The health of Mr. Abbott declined, and he was compelled to solicit dismis- 
sion, January 17, 1835. The records bear testimony of the reluctance with 
which both church and parish acquiesced in the dissolution of a connection 
of uninterrupted harmony, and to their deep sense of the merits of their 

The Rev. John Stevens Cabot Abbott, second son of Mr. Jacob Abbott, 
was born in Brunswick, Maine. Having resided with his father's family in 
Hallowell, he entered Bowdoin College 1821, and they returned to dwell in 
the place of his nativity. He graduated in 1825, and was assistant teacher 
in the Academy at Amherst, Mass. during the succeeding year. The regular 
course of studies was pursued at the Theological Seminary in Andover, and 
soon after leaving that institution, he was invited, in 1830, to Worcester. 
His fidelity, social, moral, and religious worth, talents, and usefulness, se- 
cured affection as they commanded respect. Impaired health rendered it 
necessary to ask dismission, to the great regret of his people. Having par- 
tially recovered, he was installed pastor of the Eliot church, inRoxbury, Nov. 
25, 1835, where he now resides. 

In the spring of 1833, Mr. Abbott published 'The Mother at Home,' and 
in November of the same year, ' The Child at Home.' Both these works 
have been republished in England, and have passed through numerous edi- 
tions here. In September, 1836, ' The Path of Peace ' was issued from the 
press. He has also printed two or three smaller works without his name.^ 

In May 1835, Rev. David Peabody, the present clergyman, was elected 
pastor, and a salary of $1000 annually granted. At the installation, July 15, 
the exercises were these : record of the proceedings of the council read by 
the scribe, Rev. Wm. P. Paine of Holden ; introductory prayer by Rev. 
David Perry of Hollis, N. H. ; sermon by Rev. Dr. Thomas H. Skinner of 
the Theological Institution at Andover ; installation prayer by Rev. John 
Nelson of Leicester; fellowship of the churches by the Rev. Wm. P. Paine 
of Holden ; charge by Rev. Osgood Herrick of Millbury ; address to the 
people by Rev, John Wilde of Grafton ; concluding prayer by Rev. Elijah 
Paine of West Boylston. 

Rev. David Peabody, born in Topsfield, Essex county, Mass. graduated at 
Dartmouth College, 1828 : commenced his theological studies in the institu- 
tion at Andover, Mass., which were completed at the Union Seminary, Va. : 
and was first settled over the First Congregational Church in Lynn, Mass. 
Nov. 15, 1832.2 

Nineteen members of the church, considering the rapid increase of the 

1 Mr. Abbott married Jane Williams Bourne, daughter of Abner Bourne, Esq. of Boston, 
Aug. 17, 1830. Four of the brothers of Mr. Abbott are in the ministry, or nearly closing 
their preparatory studies. 

* Mr. Peabody married Maria Brigham of Cambridgeport, Sept. 11, 1834. His father, 
John Peabody, descended in the fourth generation from Francis Peabody, who derived 
family ancestry from Wales, emigrated about 1680 from England, and became a land 
holder in Topsfield, The name was anciently written Pabodie. 


population of the town and the necessity of providing greater facilities for 
public worship, asked to be dismissed, for the purpose of forming a third 
orthodox congregational society. Consent to their request, Jan. 8, 1836, was 
accompanied with the expression of christian sympathies, and of an earnest 
desire that the Great Head of the Church would bless and prosper them, and 
the enterprise in which they were engaged. 


When the Blackstone Canal was commenced, many catholic emigrants were 
brought into the vicinity. Religious exercises were occasionally held during 
the construction of that work. In 1834, the Rev. James Fitton commenced 
visiting the town, once each month. In April of that year, the catholics in 
Worcester, were four families and about twenty unmarried persons. To 
afford them the means of assembling for divine worship, he laid the founda- 
tions of a small church on Temple Street, July 7, 1834. The execution of 
great undertakings of public improvement, and other causes, have since 
greatly increased the number. Accessions of individuals, uniting themselves 
to the society, and coming from other places, rendered it necessary to enlarge 
the church. Those who attend its services from Worcester and its vicinity 
are nearly three hundred. 

The Rev, James Fitton, is a native of Boston. His early studies were 
pursued in that city until 1822, when he visited Canada, to acquire the lan- 
guages and other branches of education, under private tuition. Returning to 
Boston, he studied theology with the Rt. Rev. Bishop Fenwick. In December 
1827, he was ordained, and appointed to official duty in the church of the 
Holy Cross. In 1828, he held the twofold office of pastor and teacher to the 
Indians of Maine. He was in 1830, designated as pastor of Trinity Church 
in Hartford, Conn, and employed in that city, and on missionary circuits 
through the neighboring country for the distance of an hundred miles, till a 
church and resident minister were obtained in New Haven, and an assistant 
in Hartford. Soon after, his monthly visits to Worcester began, and, in May 
1836, he removed to this town. 

Since his residence here, Mr. Fitton has established two schools, one in the 
basement of the church for children, the other for higher branches of educa- 
tion, for boys exclusively, called Mount Saint James Seminary, on the ancient 
Pakachoag hill.^ 


The Methodist Episcopal church in Worcester was commenced in the win- 
ter of 1834. Eight or ten persons who had become inhabitants of the town, 
attached to the Methodist institutions, formed a class, according to the regu- 
lations of that denomination. In the spring of the same year, with their 

1 The works translated and compiled by Rev. Mr. FittoD, beside a number of pamphlets, 
are : Youth's directory : Boston. 18mo. pp. 250. Triumph of religion : Baltimore. 2 
vols : 18mo. History of Palestine : Baltimore. 2 vols, 18mo. Companion to the Sanct- 
uary : Hartford. ISmo. pp. 220. 


associates, they organized a religious society for the purpose of supporting 
public worship. 

The use of the Town Hall was obtained for meetings. The Rev. J. A. 
Merrill preached for the first three months. At the June session of the New 
England Conference of the Methodist Episcopal church for 1834, Rev. George 
Pickering was stationed in Worcester, and continued in the pastoral charge of 
the society for one year. He was succeeded by Rev. John T. Burrill, who 
still continues to officiate as the regular minister.^ 

During this period, the society has increased with rapidity. They have 
now about one hundred church members, and a numerous congregation. In 
September, 1836, a house for worship was erected on the street called Colum- 
bian Avenue. 


The establishment of an Episcopal Society in Worcester, had been frequent- 
ly subject of consideration with those directing the domestic missionary organ- 
ization of the church, in Massachusetts. No distinct effort for its accomplish- 
ment was made, until the close of 1835. The first regular services according 
to the liturgy of the Protestant Episcopal church, Avere performed by Rev. 
Thomas H. Vail, on the 13th of December of that year. Since that time, 
they have been continued in the South Hall of the Town House. At the 
commencement, only two families were known to be attached to the society. 
Twelve were connected with it, in Sept. 1836 : the communicants were about 
sixteen. The rite of baptism had been administered, once privately, twice 
publicly, and there had been one confirmation. 

Wardens and vestry, officers corresponding to the deacons and trustees of 
congregational societies, have not yet been elected. A subscription of $6000 
was raised in Worcester for the erection of a church, in March and April, 
1836. The execution of the work was suspended, on account of disappoint- 
ment in obtaining aid from abroad, but measures are in progress to procure the 
construction of an edifice for worship during 1837. 

The Rev. Mr. Vail was born in Richmond, Va. where he resided until 1822. 
Subsequently, his home was in Norwich, Conn, until his removal to Worces- 
ter. He graduated at Washington College, Hartford, Conn, in 1831 : was 
afterwards connected with the General Protestant Episcopal Theological Sem- 
inary in the city of New York, four years : was ordained deacon by Bishop 
Brownell, in NeAV Canaan, Conn, in July 1835 : and officiated a short time, 
in Philadelphia and Boston, under temporary arrangements. 

1 The Catholic, Methodist, and Episcopal Societies, embracing the distinctive general 
tenets of the denominations to which they severally belong, have no articles of faith pecu- 
liar to the individual local churches. 

A sammary of the doctrines and discipline of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the 
United States, will be found in the appendix to Kay's edition of Buck's Theological Dic- 

As the Methodist ministers cannot retain the particular stations assigned, for a longer 
period than two years, the connection of those gentlemen who have visited the society 
here, has not been considered sufficiently permanent to justify biographical notice. 

188 TTNION SOCIETY. [1835. 


In the Autumn of 1834, meetings were held, preparatory to the formation 
of a third orthodox society. In December, it was resolved to take measures 
to erect a building for worship, and subscriptions for that purpose were ob- 
tained. On the 11th of 31arch, 1835, the Proprietors of the Union Meeting 
House were incorporated. Proceedings for the organization of a church, com- 
menced Dec. 25, 1835. Members of the First and Calvinist Churches united 
in adopting the following confession of faith. 

'1. We believe in one God, who possesses in an infinite degree, all nat- 
ural and moral perfections : who is the creator, upholder, and governor of the 
universe, who is revealed to us as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. 

'2. We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, were 
written under the inspiration of God, and clothed with divine authority, and 
are a perfect rule of faith and practice. 

' 3. We believe that mankind are fallen from a state of rectitude, and are, 
while in a state of nature, wholly destitute of that holiness, which is required 
by the divine law. 

' 4. We believe that all who are saved, will be saved by the sovereign 
mercy of God, through the atonement, which was effected by the obedience, 
sufferings, and death of Christ. 

' 5. We believe in the necessity of regeneration, through the Holy Spirit. 

' 6. We believe there are properly belonging to the Christian religion two, 
and only two, sacraments. Baptism and the Lord's Supper. 

' 7. We believe that God has appointed a day, in the which he will judge 
the world in righteousness, when the dead shall arise from their graves, and, 
together with the living, shall stand before the judgment seat of Christ, and 
be adjudged, the righteous to everlasting life, and the wicked to shame and 
everlasting contempt.' 

An ecclesiastical council convened, agreeably to the letters missive of Alfred 
D. Foster and others, a committee of invitation, Feb. 3, 1836, from the 
churches in Hubbardston, Leicester, Rutland, Shrewsbury, East Douglas, 
Holden, Paxton, Boylston, West Boylston, Oxford, Eliot church in Roxbury, 
and the First and Calvinist churches in W^orcester. 

Twenty seven individuals had been dismissed and recommended from the 
First church, and nineteen from the Calvinist Church. Sixty three persons 
in all, were constituted the Union Church. The public exercises were thus 
assigned : introductory prayer by Rev. John Boardmaa of East Douglas : ser- 
mon by Rev. Josiah Clark of Rutland : constituting of the church by Rev. 
Samuel Gay of Hubbardston : consecrating prayer by Rev- John S. C. Abbot* 
of Roxbury : right hand of fellowship by Rev. John Nelson of Leicester : 
the Rev. Rodney A. Miller of Worcester, and Rev. George Allen of Shrews- 
bury, administered the Lord's Supper. 

The first meeting of the Union Society, in its parochial capacity, was con- 
vened, on the warrant of Emory Washburn, Esq. March 5, 1836. 




The dedication of the meetinghouse took place July 6, 1836 : the invoca- 
tion of the Divine Presence was by Rev. Jonathan Aldrich of the first Bap- 
tist church ; lessons from the Scriptures were read by Rev. David Peabody, 
of the Calvinist church : the dedicatory prayer was offered by Rev. George 
Allen of Shrewsbury : a sermon preached by Rev. John Nelson of Leicester : 
and the exercises concluded with prayer by Rev. John T. Burrill of the 
Methodist church. 

The Rev. Jonathan Edwards Woodbridge was invited to settle as pastor, 
August, 1836. 

The following list shows the succession of Deacons of the Churches. The dates prefixed 
indicate the time of election to office. 





Daniel Heywood. 

1791. Nov. 15. 

John Chamberlain, 


Nathaniel Moore. 

1797. Oct. 19. 

Leonard Worcester. 




Jonas Eice, jun. 

1801. Nov. 23. 

David Richards. 




Thomas Wheeler. 

1807. June 18. 

Moses Perry. 




Jacob Chamberlain. 

1812. April IG. 

John Nelson. 




Samuel Miller. 

1833. Jan. 30. 

Lewis Chapin. 




Nathan Perry. 

1833. " " 

Moses Brigham. 



Thomas Wheeler. 






Samuel Bridge. 

1817. Oct. 3. 

Jeremiah Robinson, 




David Bigelow. 

1827. Oct. 29. 

Benjamin Butman. 



t, 7. 

Nathan Heard. 

1817. " " 

Alpheus Merrifield. 

1807. June 29. William Trowbridge. 


1812. Dec. 4, James Wilson. 1822. March. Daniel Goddard. 

1822. March. Nathaniel Stowell. 1836. May. Zebina E. Berry. 


1824. June 11. Samuel Taylor. 1830. Nov. 10. John Coe. 


1836. Feb. 23. Moses Perry. 1836. Feb. 23, Ichabod Washburn. 


" Alfred D. Foster. 

The number of communicants, Sept. 1836, as they are stated by the Clerks, are as fol- 
lows : 

First church, about 350 Baptist church, 434 Methodist church, about 100 

Second church, about 150 Calvinist church, about 200 Union church. 






Professional Men.i Biographical notices of the Practitioners, Counsellors and Attorneys 
at Law, and Phj'sicians, before and since the Revolution. 

The professional gentlemen wlio have been or are resident in Worcester, 
have been arranged, in the following pages, as nearly as possible, in the order 
in which they commenced business here, without regard to age, standing, or 
other principle of prioiity. Those in practice in September, 1836, are distin- 
guished by italics. 

The capital letters following the names, are the initials of Harvard and 
Brown Universities, Yale, Dartmouth, Williams, Union, Bowdoin, and Am- 
herst Colleges. 

I, A W T E K S .^ 

Joshua Eaton was the first lawyer of Worcester, in point of time. He 
was born in that part of Watertown, now AValtham, Dec. 15, 1714. The 
only son of honest and well respected parents, who bestowed upon him a lib- 
eral education, with the sole view to preparation for the ministry, after grad- 
uating at Harvard University, in 1735, he disappointed their hopes and wish- 
es, by preference of the legal to the clerical profession. The noviciate was 
short in early times. Having spent two years with Judge Trowbridge, in 
the study of the law, Mr. Eaton commenced the practise in Worcester, in 
1737, not long after the establishment of the county. Simplicity and sin- 
cerity united in his character with ardor and zeal : at the foundation was a 
substratum of pious devotion pervading his whole life. He acquired the rep- 
utation of a faithful and honest practitioner. Although his talents could not 
entitle him to eminence, he obtained extensive employment. While his world- 
ly prospects grew brighter, his attention was awakened to his spiritual condi- 
tion, and prospects of higher usefulness opened. The captivating and ener- 
getic eloquence of Whitefield diffused a contagious enthusiasm on religious 
subjects. The spirit was imbibed by Eaton, and cooperated with his own in- 
clinations and the recollections of the earnest desire of his parents, to induce 

1 Notices of the clergymen of the town should properly be inserted in the division of bi- 
ography. The connection of the lives of the pastors with the history of their parishes is 
so intimate, that it has been deemed most convenient to place the brief memoirs of the 
ministers with those of the societies of their settlement. 

2 In compiling the sketches of lawyers, much has been derived from the excellent ad- 
dress to the Bar of Worcester County, Oct. 2, 1829, by Joseph Willard, Esq. sometime of 
Lancaster, now of Boston. Higher authority could not be desired, than the antiquarian 
accuracy and fidelity of the author of that production. The reader will find occasion to re- 
gret, that the classic elegance of his composition could not be adopted, as easily as the ma- 
terials gathered by his diligence have been appropriated; 


him to abandon the profession he had adopted, and to seek the service of the 
altar. After five years practice at the bar, he commenced the study of theol- 
ogy. The fervor of his exercises was deemed fanatical, and he incurred the 
censure of the church in Worcester. Feeling aggrieved by their disciplinary 
measures, redress was sought by appeal to an ecclesiastical council. In a 
private diary is entered, under date Oct. 23, 1743, ' This day detained from 
the house of God, and I think to forbear preaching any more, until after the 
council. I hope I even long again to go up to the house of God, and to tread 
his courts.' Three days were dedicated by him to fasting, humiliation and 
prayer, on account of the difficulties. The troubles of his spirit were at length 
removed, by his restoration to christian communion. It was noted, Nov. 25, 
* The church was pleased to restore me to christian privileges without any 
acknowledgment, and gave as a reason for what they had done in censuring 
me, that they looked upon me, as being actuated by an overheated brain.' 
The next Sabbath he resumed his clerical occupation, and preached so accept- 
ably in the South Precinct of Leicester, now the town of Spencer, that he was 
soon after invited to settle there, and ordained, Nov. 7, 1744. Zeal in the 
performance of duty overcame infirmity of body, and habitual depression of 
mind. The enjoyments and honors of his former situation never elicited re- 
gret for desertion He writes, Feb. 7, 1744, ' Attended court at Worcester 
upon business : but, oh ! the tumult, and dissipation, and snares, that attend 
the courts. I think, I would not return to the practice of the law on any con- 
sideration.' A faithful ministry was finished by death, April, 1772, The 
fragments of his diary are replete with indications of deep humility, ardent 
piety, and conscientious regard to duty. The successive decease of his chil- 
dren and consort, the sufferings of long sickness, and the afflictions of his lot, 
exemplified his resignation and patience. Alter his death, a volume of plain 
and judicious discourses, not remarkable either for brilliancy or force, were 
published by his friend. Rev. Eli Forbes of Broukfield, who pronounced his 
funeral discourse, and received the custody of his papers.^ 

Stephen Fessendex, a native of Cambridge, was graduated at Harvard 
University in 1737, studied with Judge Trowbridge, and probably succeeded 
Eaton in the practice of the law in Worcester. Specimens of instruments 
drafted by him, exhibit remarkable neatness and accuracy. A crowd of irreg- 
ular practitioners, pressing into business, seem to have cut off his supplies, 
and finally driven him away.^ 

Joseph Dyer was a person of another description. Not bred to the pro- 
fession, he came here in 1736, and commenced business as office and shop- 
keeper. Law and merchandise he treated as equally matters of trade. With 
some ingenuity and acuteness, he fell, at length, victim to the litigious spirit 
he encouraged in others. Having worked himself into the belief of the valid- 
ity of a peculiar view of the qualifications of voters, the opposition of others 
to his own construction, produced a degree of monomania. It was his pleas- 

1 The biographical sketch prefixed to this volume, and Willard's Address, hare furnish- 
ed materials for this notice. 

2 Willard's Address, 51. 

192 lA-WYKKS. 

ure to interpose exceptions to all municipal proceedings until he became the 
common nuisance of the inhabitants. For more than twenty years he protes- 
ted either verbally or in writing, against acts specially or doings generally of 
the town. No taxes could be collected from him, unless by levy of warrants 
of distress on his chattels. Year after year, the people resolved to sustain 
their officers in the execution of coercive process for payment of his share of 
common charges. At length, it seems to have been determined to silence the 
voice of continual remonstrance, and subdue resistance to legal assessments, 
by deprivation of liberty. In 1759, Dyer was committed to the common jail, 
for neglect to discharge a fine incurred by absence from a military muster, 
nominally of £16 in the depreciated currency, really of small amount in spe- 
cie. The remedy was ineffectual. He entered his cell protesting against the 
law, its process, and the prison. Protesting he would never come out by sub- 
mission to the payment of a farthing, he settled himself down in the house of 
the government as a home. His beard, permitted to grow unshorn, gave him 
the aspect of an ancient philosopher in retirement. The little emolument of 
professional business, and the income of the shop managed by his family, gave 
food for his subsistence. Two years went by, and the citizens, alarmed lest 
his obstinacy should bring upon them the support of himself and his children, 
held a meeting to consider his situation, and proposed to release the two thirds 
of the fine given by the statute to the corporation, if the residue was paid. 
The offer was rejected. Three years longer. Dyer persisted in remaining un- 
der confinement, probably sweetening the solitude by the compilation of a dic- 
tionary of the English language, afterwards published. A subscription was 
raised, against his will, by the charitable ; the sum necessary for liberation 
was advanced, and he was told that he was free. The habit of resisting was 
so inveterate, that he objected to this benevolence ; refused to remove from his 
rooms, and was, at length, only ejected by force. Dyer left the jail, as he en- 
tered it, protesting against the right to put him in or out The first use of 
liberty, was to commence a suit against the keeper for false imprisonment : 
the failure of the action contributed to the recovery of mental sanity, impaired 
on a single point only. He afterwards removed to Newfane, Vt.^ 

In the same low class of pettifoggers, was Nathaniel Greene, a shop- 
keeper, who attended courts, made writs, drew wills and deeds, and did 
business in the humbler walks of the profession, from 1746 to 1760. 

James Putnam, H. U. 1746, attained and deserved the highest rank of 
professional distinction. He was born in that part of Salem, now Danvers, in 
1725, studied with Judge Trowbridge, and commenced the practise of the law 
in Worcester in 1749. Strong native power was increased by extensive ac- 
quirement and unwearied cultivation. His ability and learning soon gave him 
a flood of clients, and enabled him not only to contest, but to hold, possession 
of the best business, while Trowbridge, Hawley, Gridley, Pratt, and the other 
celebrated counsellors who attended the terms of our courts, were competitors. 
The highest encomium which can be bestowed upon professional qualification, 

1 Ebenezer Dyer is mentioned in Thomson's Gazetteer of Vermont, as one of the first set- 
tlers of Newfane in 1766. He was probably son of Joseph. 


was pronounced, in after life, by an associate, who well knew his worth :^ 
' Judge Putnam was an unerring lawyer ; he was never astray in his law. He 
was, I am inclined to think, the best lawyer of North America.' His argu- 
ments were marked by strong and clear reasoning, logical precision and ar- 
rangement, and that sound judgment whose conclusions were presented so for- 
cibly as to command assent. A well-read lawyer, skilful pleader, safe adviser, 
and successful advocate, his extending fame gave him wide sphere for action 
and usefulness. Retained in Middlesex and Hampshire, he attended the 
courts of those counties constantly, and, in important cases, assisted in those 
of Suffolk, where then, as now, the best talents of the state were gathered. 
At a time when military rank was given as the real distinction of merit, and 
had not become worse than an empty title, he was Colonel of a regiment. 
When Jonathan Sewall was raised to the bench of the Court of Admiralty, 
James Putnam was appointed his successor, as Attorney General of the prov- 
ince. When the revolution commenced, having given the whole weight of 
his high character and great influence, to sustain the royal government, he was 
compelled to take refuge in Boston. 

He accompanied the British army to New York ; thence he went to Halifax, 
and embarked for England in 1776, where he remained until the peace of 
1783. In 1784, he was appointed member of the Council of New Brunswick, 
and Judge of the Supreme Court of that province. In the discharge of the 
duties of his judicial office, he obtained the highest praise which human am- 
bition should desire, that of inflexible justice. The sternness and austerity 
of official demeanor, and the reserved habits of social life, were relieved by 
flashes of wit which are described as irresistible. He resided in the city of 
St. John, and retained the office of Judge till his death, Oct. 23, 1789. 

Among those who received legal education from him, were President John 
Adams, Joshua Atherton of Lancaster, Rufus Chandler, and Nathaniel Chand- 
ler of Worcester. 

Rufus Chandler, H. U. 1766, son of the second judge John Chandler, 
was born at Worcester, May 18, 1747, and died in London, Oct. 11, 1823. 
He studied with James Putnam, was admitted to the bar in 1768, and prac- 
tised in Worcester until the Courts were closed, in June, 1774. Inheriting 
the loyalty of the family Avhich shared so freely in the bounty of the king, he 
left the country on the commencement of hostilities, and resided in England 
as a private gentleman. 

He was more remarkable for accuracy and method, than for high mental en- 
dowments. Fidelity in business, and purity of life, secured the confidence of 
his clients. He was economical in his habits from principle, and most punc- 
tiliously neat in personal appearance. 

Levi Lincoen, born May 5, 1749, was third son of Enoch Lincoln, a strong- 
minded and substantial farmer of Hingham, member of the revolutionary com- 
mittees, and frequently representative of that town. Unable to afford lib- 
eral education to all his children, and unwilling to bestow peculiar advantages 

1 Cited in Willard's Address, 61. 


on one, the son was bound apprentice to an ironsmith.^ Indications of talent, 
and of strong inclination for literary pursuits, were early exhibited. While 
he yet wrought at the anvil, he indulged the taste for reading in the hours al- 
lotted for sleep, and devoted a portion of the night to the study of the Latin 
and Greek languages. Sedate and thoughtful manner, and diligence and ca- 
pacity in the acquisition of knoAvledge, interested others in his welfare. As- 
sistance and encouragement were derived from Mr. Lewis, long master of the 
Grammar School, and from the Rev. Dr. Gay, for whom his pupil cherished 
enthusiastic veneration. As the love of literature increased, he abandoned the 
forge, and after six months preparation, entered Harvard University, where he 
was graduated in 1772. Originally intending to adopt the clerical profession, 
his purpose was changed by an accidental visit to the courts, when the elo- 
quence of the elder Adams threw its power over the pending cause. He com- 
menced the study of law with Daniel Farnham, Esq. in Newburyport, where 
he staid a year, and then completed his noviciate in the office of Joseph Haw- 
ley of Northampton, distinguished as jurist, statesman, and patriot. In April, 
1775, he marched as volunteer with the minute men to Cambridge: as the 
emergency of danger Avhich called for the service had passed, and the army 
settled down in their entrenchments for protracted siege, he returned ; was 
admitted to practise in regular course in Hampshire, and immediately estab- 
lished himself in Worcester. A wide and clear field for the exertion of talent 
was presented. The principal men of the county had espoused the cause of 
the royal government, and been driven from their homes, or deserted their 
country. Two lawyers only remained at the bar when the temp es of justice 
were reopened, in 1775, after having been closed by the tumult of arms for a 
year.^ Decision of character and energy of purpose capacity to lead and pop- 
ular address, soon gave him prominent station. Introduced into extensive 
business, he still devoted his talents to the cause of independence, and imme- 
diately became an active member of the committees of the revolution. Ani- 
mated appeals to patriotism in written addresses, and printed communications 
to the newspaper of the town, attest the ardor of his devotion and the power- 
ful expression of his pen. When the courts commenced, after their suspen- 
sion, in Dec. 1775, he was appointed Clerk. In Jan. 1777, on resigning, he 
was commissioned by the executive council. Judge of Probate, and held the 
office till 1781, when it was relinquished, in consequence of interference with 
professional engagements. 

In 1779, he was specially designated to prosecute the claims of government 
to the large estates of the refugees, confiscated under the Absentee Act : and 
was Commissioner to expedite the payment of the Continental tax. He was 
delegate of the town to the convention in Cambridge for framing a state con- 
stitution. In Feb. 1781, he was elected by the Legislature, under the Con- 

1 Jeremiah Lincoln of Hingham, who had been a soldier in the French wars, and escaped 
from the massacre of Fort William Henry. He died at Lunenburg, Mass. Another of his 
apprentices, Dr. Peter Hobart of Hanover, left his work shop for the University. Solomon 
Lincoln's History of Hingham, 90. 127. 

2 The late Judge John Sprague of Lancaster and Joshua Upham of Brookfield. 


federation, representative in the Continental Congress, but the honor was de- 
clined. In 1783, he was called by the Supreme Court to the degree of Bar- 
rister at law, a judicial distinction only conferred on himself and Judge 
Sprague in the county, after the revolution.^ In 1796, he was representative 
in the General Court : in 1797, member of the Senate of the Commonwealth : 
and exerted strong influence in the legislative action, particularly in the modi- 
fication of the judicial and school systems. In the autumn of 1800, although 
his democratic principles were known to be opposed to those of a majority of 
the electors, he was returned representative to the seventh Congress, and was 
chosen to supply the vacancy occasioned by the resignation of Hon. Dwight 
Foster at the then next session. He was selected, soon after taking his seat, 
by President Jefferson to form one of his cabinet. On the 5th March, 1801, 
he was appointed Attorney General of the United States, and was provisional 
Secretary of State, until the arrival of Mr. Madison at the Federal city, in 
May following. The duties of the former charge separating him from his fam- 
ily, it was resigned, after nearly four years service. ' I received, last night,' 
writes Mr. Jeff'erson, Dec. 28, 1804, ' your letter, proposing to resign your 
office : and I received it with real affliction. It would have been my greatest 
happiness, to have kept together to the end of my term our executive family ; 
for our harmony and cordiality have really made us but as one family. Yet, 
I am a father, and have been a husband. I know the sacred duties which 
these relations impose ; the feelings they inspire ; and that they are not to be 
resisted by a warm heart. I yield, therefore, to your wishes. You carry with 
you my entire approbation of your official conduct, my thanks for your ser- 
vices, my regrets on losing them, and my affectionate friendship.' In the 
spring of 1806, he was elected member of the Council of Massachusetts. In 
1807, and 1808, he was Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth. On the 
decease of Gov. Sullivan, in Dec. 1808, he discharged the duties of Chief 
Magistrate for the remainder of the term of office. He was nominated for 
election as Governor, in 1809, but, in the revolution of party, his competitor, 
Gov. Gore, prevailed. He afterwards declined being candidate, when the as- 
cendency of the political principles to which he adhered, would have rendered 
success more sure. In 1810, and 1811, he was again councillor. In 1811, 
he was appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. 
' You will see,' writes President Madison, ' by the commission which will be 
forwarded from the Department of State, that I have taken the liberty of nom- 
inating you to the Senate as successor to Judge Gushing, notwithstanding your 
remonstrances against a recall into the national service. I was induced to this 

1 The following precept is an example of the form in which the honorary legal distinc- 
tion, now obsolete, was conferred. 

To Levi Lincoln, of Worcester, Esquire, Greeting. We, well knowing your ability, 
learning, and integrity, command you, that you appear before our Justices of our Supreme 
Judicial Court next to be holden at Boston, in and for our county of Suffolk, on the third 
Tuesday of February next, then and there, in our said Court, to take upon you the 
state and degree of Barrister at Law. Hereof fail not. Witness William Gushing, Esq. 
our Chief Justice at Boston, this 25th day of December, A. D. 1783, and in the eighth year 
of our independenc J. By order of Court. Charles Cushing, Clerk. 


Step, not only by my personal wishes, but by those of others, between whom 
and yourself exists all the reciprocal respect that can add weight to them, and 
particularly by their persuading themselves, that your patriotism would ac- 
quiesce in an appointment, however contrary it might be to your previous in- 
clinations. I venture to flatter myself that in this we may not be disap- 
pointed : and that, in every event, you will regard the liberty I have taken in 
imposing the dilemma upon you, with the indulgence due to my motives, and 
to the great esteem and sincere friendship of which I pray you to accept my 
renewed assurances.' Weakness of sight, terminating in almost total blind- 
ness, rendered it necessary to decline even such solicitation, and to retire from 
public life.^ Partial restoration of vision, enabled him to resume the cultiva- 
tion of the farm and the classical studies, both objects of passionate attach- 
ment, and among the fields and with the pages of his favorite Latin authors, 
to alleviate the infirmities of decaying health and pressing age. He died 
April 14, 1820, aged 71. 

* For a period of nearly forty years,' says Mr. "Willard, ' he was in active 
life, and bore leading part amid vast and important changes in our community, 
such as none of the present generation can be called on to witness. He was 
without question, at the head of the bar, from the close of the Revolution till 
he left our courts at the commencement of the present century. His profes- 
sional business far exceeded that of any other member of the bar. He was re- 
tained in every case of importance, and for many years, constantly attended the 
courts in Hampshire and Middlesex, [and frequently those of the neighboring 
states.] His great command of language, his power in searching out the truth 
from unwilling witnesses, in analysing, arranging, and presenting to the mind 
the evidence of the case, rendered him a highly popular advocate, and gave 
him great success in jury trials. Wide reading and extensive practise con- 
stituted him a learned jurist.' The arbitrary encroachments of the royalist 
clergymen, claiming the sovereign right of veto, were successfully resisted by 
him. His love of religious freedom, broke through the ecclesiastical usurpa- 
tions of early time, and contributed to establish the conflicting interests of 
church, parish, and ministers on sure distinctions. The fetters of negro bon- 
dage were broken in Massachusetts, by the decision, in a case, in which his 
whole energies were exerted, that the relation of master and slave could not 
justify assault. The 'Farmer's Letters,' published in 1800, and 1801, were 
widely circulated, produced powerful sensation in the political world, and 
busied the press, for a long time, with efibrts to answer their arguments, and 
personal attack on their author. 

He was one of the original members of the American Academy of Arts and 
Sciences, Trustee of Leicester Academy, first President of the Worcester Ag- 
ricultural Society, and associate of many useful institutions. 

It is not for the partiality of filial reverence to attempt to delineate the pri- 

1 Mr. JeflFtrson writes ; • be assured your place is high among those whose remembrance 
I have brought with me into retirement, and cherish with warmth. I was overjoyed when 
I heard you were appointed to the supreme bench of national justice, and as much morti- 
fied when I heard you had declined.' 


vate character of a venerated sire. All that is permitted by the plan of this 
work, is to indicate the public and professional standing of our citizens, where 
neither space nor ability afford hope of doing justice to their merits. 

William Stearns, H. U. 1770, was born in Lunenburg, Mass. He first 
commenced the study of divinity, and preached for a short time, but was not 
settled as a clergyman. He then devoted himself to the law, was admitted to 
practise, Dec. 1776, and established himself in Worcester. During one year 
he was connected with Daniel Bigelow, Esq. in the publication of the Massa- 
chusetts Spy. His professional business was considerable until his early 
death, in 1784. He possessed good sense, respectable learning, lively wit, 
and much kindness of feeling. 

Edward Bangs was born in Harwich in the county of Barnstable, Sept. 5, 
1756. He prepared for college at Dummer Academy, in Newbury, under the 
instruction of the celebrated Master Moody, and entered Harvard University, 
in 1773. He remained in Cambridge during the spring vacation of 1775, 
when the British troops marched to Concord. On the 19th of April, as soon 
as intelligence of the hostile movement was received, he hastily equipped him- 
self from the armory of the college company, repaired to the scene of action, 
and fought gallantly during the day. He saved the life of a British soldier, 
severely wounded, who had been overtaken in flight, and was about to be sac- 
rificed to the vengeance of his captors. The events of the war dispersed the 
students, and interrupted, for a time, the course of instruction. Mr. Bangs 
continued his studies at home, until the halls were again opened. He grad- 
uated in 1777, in the same class with the late Rufus King, James Freeman, 
William Bentley, Thomas Dawes, and others, who became eminent as learned 
divines, or able civilians. He immediately entered the office of Chief Justice 
Parsons at Newburyport, and Avas admitted to the bar, in Essex, in 1780. 
The same year he removed to Worcester, and commenced business in partner- 
ship with William Stearns. This connection continued about two years. Af- 
ter its dissolution, he pursued the profession alone, and with good success. 
When the insurrection broke out, he engaged with great ardor in defence of 
the constitution. His pen was exerted in the cause of order with ability. In 
January, 1787, he joined the army of Gen. Lincoln, as a volunteer. In that 
brief campaign, he suffered so much from exposure and hardship, that his 
health was impaired, and the foundation of disorders laid, from which he nev- 
er recovered. In 1805, he formed a partnership with William E. Green, who 
had just removed from Grafton to Worcester, which subsisted until 1811. 
He was appointed Attorney of the Commonwealth for the County of Worces- 
ter, on the resignation of Hon. Nathaniel Paine, by the Court, and soon after 
reappointed by the Governor and Council, Oct. 21, 1807. lie was removed 
to the bench, as Associate Justice of the Court of Common Pleas for the west- 
ern circuit, Oct. 8, 1811, on the first organization of that court. This office 
he retained till his death, June 28, 1818, at the age of 62. 

He was representative of Worcester, in the General Court, from 1802 to 
1811 inclusive : for many years one of the board of selectmen ; was on many 
important committees ; and sustained various town offices. Without serious- 


ly interrupting his professional avocations, he took a prominent part in politi- 
cal transactions. In 1801, he was nominated for member of Congress from 
Worcester south district, but declined the honor. During the stormy period 
of party controversy, he was induced to become a candidate for the same sta- 
tion, but his competitor was elected. 

He practised successfully, as a lawyer, for thirty years. He was a good clas- 
sical and general scholar, and possessed taste for mathematical science. Deep 
and conscientious regard to sincerity and truth was manifested in his whole 
transactions. However erroneous he might have been considered, by those 
who differed from him, none doubted his honesty. He was of ardent temper- 
ament, and warm in attachment to friends, and the opinions or party he 
adopted. His love of nature was enthusiastic, and he contemplated her works 
with intense admiration. His leisure was devoted to the cultivation of a gar- 
den, ornamented with singular elegance, and filled, by his care, with rare ex- 
otics, beautiful native plants, and choice fruits. 

He possessed taste for poetry. Although he did not distinguish himself for 
that talent, some of his compositions were extensively circulated in the jour- 
nals of the day. A humorous song, called ' the Somerset on shore,' attained 
considerable degree of popularity. His odes for public festive occasions were 
of respectable merit.'- 

William Sever, H. U. 1778, son of Hon. William Sever, was born in 
Kingston, in Plymouth county. He studied with Levi Lincoln, sen. was 
called to the bar in 1781: practised two years in Kingston: in 1785, re- 
moved to Worcester; where he died, October 31, 1798, leaving the reputation 
of fine talents, which with greater assiduity, might have given high profession- 
al distinction. 

Nathaniel Paine, H. U. 1775, son of Hon. Timothy Paine of Worcester, 
studied with Hon. John Sprague of Lancaster. Immediately upon admission, 
Aug. 1781, he commenced practise in Groton, Mass. and after four years 
residence there, returned to Worcester. He succeeded Daniel Bigelow, Esq. 
as County Attorney. In 1798, 1799 and 1800, he represented the town in 

1 Edward Bangs, m. Hannah Lynde, d. of Joseph Lynde, Esq. sometime of Charlestown, 
afterwards of Worcester, Sept. 18, 1788. He left two children. 1. Edward Dillingham. 

2. Anna L. b. 1800 : d. Feb. 14, 1823. 

The ancestor of the family was Edward Bangs, a native of Chichester in England, who 
arrived in Plymouth in July, 1623, by the Ann, the third ship which brought the pilgrim 
emigrants, having been proceeded by the Mayflower and the Fortune. In the division of 
the live stock, to 12 companies, that to which L'dward Bangs belonged received ' the great 
white-backed cow, which was brought over with the first in the Ann ; also two she goats.' 
In 1627, he was member of a commission with Gov. Bradford, to make a new division of 
lands. He was a shipwright, and is said to have superintended the construction of the first 
vessel built at Plymouth. He removed with Gov. Prince, and others, to Eastham, in 1644, 
where he died in 1678, a. 86. 2. His son Jonathan, born at Plymouth, 1640 ; m. Mary 
Mayo, July 16, 1664; d. at Harwich, now Brewster, 1728. 3. Edward, son of Jonathan, b. 
at Eastham, Sept. 30, 1665 , d. May 22. 1746. 4. Edward, son of Edward, b. 1694 ; d. June 

3, 17o5, 5. Benjamin, son of Edward, b. 1721 ; m. Desire Dillingham, d. 1769. He was 
father of Judge Edward Bangs. Farmer's Genealogical Register. Willard's Address, 90. 
MS. of Edward D. Bangs, Esq. 

lAWTEES. 199 

the Legislature. He was appointed Judge of Probate, Jan 24, 1801, and held 
that office thirty five years. His resignation Avas accepted Jan. 18, 1836. 

Timothy Green, B. U, 1786, a native of Worcester, was son of the first 
Dr. John Green, and grandson of Hon. Timothy Ruggles. He studied with 
Levi Lincoln, sen. and practised two years in Worcester, He then removed 
to the city of New York, where he engaged successfully in land trade. After 
a visit to the South, his preparations had been completed for an overland 
journey home, when he was prevailed on to take passage by sea. He em- 
harked, in 1812, on board a privateer-built vessel at Charleston, in company 
with Mrs Alston, the accomplished lady of the governor of South Carolina, 
and daughter of the celebrated Aaron Burr. The ship sailed, and no tidings 
of her fate were ever afterwards heard. 

Joseph Allen, H. U. 1792, eldest son of Hon. Joseph Allen, born in 
Leicester, commenced practise in Worcester, removed to Western, Mass. now 
Warren, Avhere he remained to 1805. He afterwards went to Charlestown, 
N, H. and died in that town. 

Samuel A. Flagg, H. U. 1794, was born in Mendon, Mass : studied with 
Hon. Nathaniel Paine: established himself in Worcester, 1797, and died here, 
March 5, 1825, aged 50. 

Andrew Morton, B. U. 1795, of FreetoM^n, Mass. studied with Levi Lin- 
coln, sen: practised in Worcester from 1802 to 1804 ; then settled in Hamp- 
den, Maine, where he died, Oct. 26, 1805. 

Francis Blake, H. U. 1789, fifth son of Joseph Blake, was born October 
14, 1774. His father, a native and eminent merchant of Boston, for several 
years anterior and subsequent to the commencement of the revolution, was en- 
gaged in extensive trade in Rutland, Mass. and removed to Hingham, in 1779. 
His son was in the principal school of the town, then under the tuition of 
Rev. Joseph Thaxter, afterwards clergyman of Martha's Vineyard, and distin- 
guished for the eloquence of his address in prayer on the semi-centennial an- 
niversary of the battle of Bunker Hill. Under the instruction of this gentle- 
man, of his successor, Mr. Howard, and of Dr. Barker, he was fitted for col- 
lege. Although prepared for admission to the freshman class at the age of 
eleven, he did not enter the University until 1787. After having graduated, 
he read law with the Hon. John Sprague, and was twenty years of age when 
called to the bar in 1794. He commenced practise in his native town of Rut- 
land, and his fine genius soon raised him to high professional standing. In 
1802, he removed to Worcester. In 1810, 1811, he was in the Senate of 
Massachusetts. In 1816, he was appointed Clerk of the courts, and held that 
office until his death, Feb. 23, 1817. 

The highest efi^orts of the great advocate rear no enduring monument to his 
name. The reputation of his eloquence is entrusted to the generation that 
witnesses its display. Few memorials of the splendid talents of Mr. Blake 
survive, except in the admiration of his contemporaries. An Oration at Wor- 
cester, July 4, 1796 ; an examination of the constitutionality of the embargo 
laws: and an oration at Worcester, July 4, 1812, are the only publications 
which preserve permanent testimonials of magnificent intellectual action. 


His character is thus delineated by the elegant writer so often quoted. 
' Mr, Blake possessed all the constituent properties of a great orator. He was 
of an ardent temperament, the usual companion of fine intellect, and of a char- 
acter that dwelt with satisfaction and delight upon whatever was lofty and 
honorable. His was the nicely modulated voice, all whose cadences were 
musical ; and though, like the harp of Memnon, in unrestrained inspiration, 
they sometimes breathed wildly, they breathed eloquently. His was the clas- 
sic elegance of language, poured out in rich profusion from a never failing 
source. His Avas the vivid imagination, that threw over all, the crimson flush 
of light, and dazzled by its brilliancy. He brought to his aid the advantages 
of wide reading, and commendable scholarship, that served to increase his 
power of expression. He Avas often vehement and impassioned, and that, 
probably, was the prevailing tone of his eloquence, especially when he detected 
and brought to light the hidden things of chicanery and deceit ; but his ve- 
hemence and his warmth never caused him to forget himself, nor to lose that 
harmony and measure of expression that were peculiarly his own.'^ 

Levi Thaxtek, of Hingham, son of Jonathan Thaxter, studied with Levi 
Lincoln, sen. commenced practise in Worcester in 1803. He was the first cash- 
ier of the Worcester Bank, which ofiice he resigned in 1805, and removed to 
Watertown, where he now resides. He was Senator of Massachusetts from 
1822 to 1826. 

Levi Lincoln, H. U. 1802, son of Levi Lincoln, sen. of Worcester, read 
law in the office of his father, then Attorney General of the United States, and 
necessarily absent in the discharge of official duty. He was admitted to the 
bar in 1805, and commenced practise here. In 1812, he was member of the 
Senate of Massachusetts, and drew, and with Hon. Benjamin Crowninshield, 
presented, the answer of that body to the speech of Gov. Strong. In 1814, 
he was elected to the House of Representatives, and prepared and ofi'ered the 
protest of the minority against the act authorizing the famous Hartford Con- 
vention. In succeeding years, from 1814 to 1822, he represented the town, 
with the exception of three intervals, when he declined being candidate. In 
1820, he was in the convention to revise the state constitution, and afterwards 
one of the Commissioners, under the act for the separation of Maine, to make 
partition and apportionment of the public property. In 1822, he was chosen 
Speaker of the House of Representatives, when a majority of that assembly 
differed from his political sentiments. He was Lieutenant Governor, in 1823, 
and, in February, 1824, appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Judicial 
Court. In April, 1825, upon the nomination of the two great parties, he was 
Governor of the Commonwealth, and continued in this office by nine succes- 
sive reelections, until, having declined being candidate, he retired upon the 
induction of his successor, in January, 1834. In February of that year, he 
was elected to supply the vacancy in the representation of the district, occa- 
sioned by the transfer of Hon. John Davis to the Executive chair, and, in 
November following, was chosen member of the twenty fourth Congress. 

The degree of LL. D. was conferred upon him by Williams College and by 


1 Willard's Address, 98, 


Harvard University. He was for several years member of the Board of Trus- 
tees of Leicester Academy, some time its Treasurer, and afterwards President ; 
President of the Worcester Agricultural Society from 1823, Fellow of the 
American Academy of Arts and Sciences, member of the Board of Overseers 
of Harvard College, and Councillor of the American Antiquarian Society. 

William E. Green, B. U. 1798, son of the first Dr. John Green, studied 
with Judge Edward Bangs, was admitted in 1801, and practised in Grafton to 
1805. He then returned to Worcester, and was in partnership with Mr. 
Bangs until the appointment of that gentleman to the bench in 1811, and af- 
terwards, until Oct. 9, 1816, connected with Edward D. Bangs, Esq. 

Joseph B. Caldwell, H. U. 1802, son of William Caldwell, Esq. sheriff 
of Worcester County from 1793 to 1805, was born in Rutland ; studied with 
Hon. Nathaniel Paine ; practised in Grafton to 1809; Worcester in 1810 ; 
Rutland to 1812. He returned to Worcester in 1813, and died here in that 

Samuel M. JBurnside, D. C. 1805, son of Thomas Buruside, was born at 
Northumberland, Coos co. N. H. His early education was in the common 
schools of a new-planted country, except nine months at an academy prepara- 
tory to admission at college. After having graduated, he passed two years 
in superintending a female academy at Andover, Mass. In October, 1807, he 
commenced the study of law in the office of Hon. Artemas Ward, the present 
Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas. No one was more able or willing 
to afford aid to his students. Familiar acquaintance with the principles of the 
common, merchant, and statute law, unsurpassed skill as conveyancer and 
special pleader, with uniform kindness and liberality, justified their affection- 
ate reverence for the character of that able jurist and excellent man. His 
business was immense. He was, consequently, much from home at this period, 
and his pupils were left to follow principally the dictates of their own judg- 
ment in regard to their course of reading. Mr. Burnside was admitted, to 
practise in March, 1810, and was first sworn at the bar of the Supreme Judi- 
cial Court upon examination, being one of the few persons who have been suf- 
fered to pass to that court without having previously been admitted at the 
lower tribunal. He commenced business in Westborough in the spring of 
1810. In the autumn of that year, he removed to Worcester, and has since, 
resided here.-^ 

1 His father, Thomas Burnside, was a descendant of that colony of Scots, settling in the- 
north of Ireland about 1650, many of whom emigrated to New England in 1719. Among; 
them, was Rev. James McGregoire, his maternal grandfather, ordained first minister of 
Londonderry, 1719, who died March 5, 1729, leaving three sons; 1. David, succeeding iui 
the ministry in 1737 ; 2. James, who became merchant in Londonderry ; and 3, Alexander,, 
who settled in Warwick, R. I. Susannah, only daughter of Alexander, on the death of her 
father, was adopted and educated by her uncle James, himself childless ; inherited with, 
her brother his considerable estate ; and married Thomas Burnside. 

Thomas Burnside was brought up in Londonderry as a merchant ; took active part in 
the French wars from 1755 to 1763; was in many bloody battles on the frontier; andi 
fought by the side of Wolfe on the plains of Abraham. On the restoration of peace, he was 
engaged several years in mercantile pursuits. He yielded to the flattering overtures of. 
Got. Wentworth, to establish settlements in the northern parts of New Hampshire, within 


Rejoice Newton, D. C. 1807, a native of Greenfield, Mass., son of Isaac 
Newton, commenced his studies with Hon. Richard E. Newcomb, at Green- 
field, which were concluded with Hon. Elijah Mills, at Northampton. He 
was admitted attorney in Hampshire county, in 1810; immediately formed 
connection in professional business with Hon. Francis Blake of Worcester, 
which continued until April, 1814. On the decease of William C. White, he 
was appointed County Attorney, having discharged the duties a year previous. 
This office he resigned in 1824. He represented the town in the General 
Court in 1829, 1830, and 1831, and was elected Senator of Massachusetts in 
1834. Since 1826, he has been connected in business with William Lincoln^ 

James Eliot. He was Tlepresentative in Congress from Vermont from 
1803 to 1809. He was invited to Worcester to assume the editorial manage- 
ment of the Spy, in October, 1810, which he relinquished in February fol- 
lowing, and soon afterward removed. He has since been Clerk of the Courts 
of Windham County, Vt., and resides at Newfane. 

Levi Heywood, D. C. 1808, son of Seth Hey wood, was born in Gardner, 
Mass., June, 1784. The study of law, commenced with Hon. Nathaniel Paine 
of Worcester, was finished with Hon. Elijah Mills of Northampton. Admit- 
ted to the bar in 1811, he began practise here in that year. In October, 1818, 
he removed to Pinckneyville, Louisiana, where he engaged in teaching school. 
Having kept an office in New York for a short period, he became Principal 
of the Academy in Hackensack, N. J. He again resumed practise in the city 
of NeAv York, where he died, Nov. 22, 1832. 

William Chakles White, player, poet, advocate, and author, possessed 
versatility of talents, which gave some distinction in each of his various occu- 
pations. His father, William White of Boston, extensiA^ely engaged in com- 
merce and trade, destined his eldest son to mercantile pursuits. His educa- 
tion for business Avas commenced, as the clerk of Mr. Joseph Cooledge, and 
diligently followed for a few years. At length, avocations more congenial to 
the taste of the young man, seduced his attention from the employments of 
the counting house, and the journal and ledger gave place to books of lighter lit- 
erature. In 1796, at the age of nineteen, he had written ' Orlando,' a tragedy, 

the valley of the Connecticut, whose fertile intervals had been traversed in his military 
campaigns. Animated by a bold spirit of enterprise, he left lucrative business and devo- 
ted friends, removed sixty miles above Haverhill, then the most northern settlement, into 
the ■wilderness, inhabited only by the red man, its ancient proprietor, and became the first 
planter of Northumberland, then called Stonington. For two or three years, he had no 
neighbor within sixty miles, and no direction to an English village but the line of spotted 
trees. In 1775, while busied in the labors of the harvest, a friendly Indian came running 
into the field in urgent haste, to warn him to flee for life, assuring him that a body of hos- 
tile savages were within two or three hours march. Immediately, he and his family were 
on horseback, hastening to a place of safety. The mother, then unaccustomed to hardship, 
rode with her infant in her arms, swam her horse across the Connecticut in the flight, and 
after extreme difficulties reached Haverhill in safety. Within the short time mentioned 
by his savage friend, the house, buildings, and crops of Mr. Burnside were destroyed by the 
enemy. Undiscouraged by such perilous escape, with the courage of a soldier, he soon re- 
turned to his desolate farm, and until the close of the war, divided his time between the 
peaceful avocations of the husbandman, and the martial enterprises required for the de- 
fence of the country. He died Nov. 3, 1798. MS of S. M. Burnside, Esq. 


subsequently printed with the head of the author. The father, a formal and 
correct person, devoted to practical matters, seems to have contemplated the 
intellectual acquisitions of his son with little satisfaction.^ Of the theatre, 
he entertained profound horror, regarding its pretensions to be the school of 
virtue as the mask of profligacy, and its occupations as the lowest degradation. 
His mortification was extreme, on finding the attachment of young White for 
the drama growing into a passion, too strong to be controlled by reason, and 
when excited by opposition, becoming so intense as to affect the sanity of 
mind and health of body. In the winter of 1796, the elder White found it 
necessary to make a long visit to the city of New York. He writes to a 
friend at home, ' William had, for some time, discovered his propensity for 
theatric exhibitions, and by all opportunities, 1 discountenanced in him this 
inordinate passion. During my absence from Boston last summer, ho wrote 
a play, which, on my return, some of the family mentioned to me. Although 
I was not pleased with his study and writings in this style, yet I supposed it 
a good opportunity to turn his attention, and destroy gradually his predilec- 
tion for the stage. About a month previous to my leaving Boston, he grew 
sick, and was, apparently, in a decline. I was very anxious, and postponed 
my journey for some time. A few days before I left home, he seemed to be 
in better spirits, and declared himself to feel essentially better than he had 
been, and when I came away, opened himself, in a very dutiful and respectful 
manner, by observing that his illness arose from his insatiable thirst for the 
stage, but that his resolution had gained the ascendency of his desires, and 
entreated me not to have the least uneasiness respecting him in that particular, 
for he had determined not to give way to that inclination.' However sincere 
was the promise, it was soon broken. The conflict of filial duty with pas- 
sionate desire was so violent, as to bring its victim to the verge of distraction. 
Unable to resist his dramatic love, he made his first appearance at the Federal 
Street Theatre, Dec. 14, 1796, in the character of Nerval, in the tragedy of 
Douglas, and was received with great applause, by an audience of indulgent 
friends. In a letter of apology, written the next day, to his father, he says, 
' I am sorry I was compelled by violence of inclination, to deviate from my 
promises to you ; but life was one series of vexation, disappointment and 
wretchedness. Pray let this consideration have some weight with you. But, 
for Heaven's sake, for your own sake, and for my sake, do not tear me from a 
profession, which, if I am deprived of, will be attended with fatal conse- 
quences.' Never did parent mourn more inconsolably for the worst follies or 
darkest crimes of his offspring, than did the father of the actor, over this 
example of perversity in his family. His epistles are filled with expressions 
of distress, so extravagant, that they are only redeemed from being ludicrous, 
by the deep sorrow they breathe. He thus addresses the tragedian : • Dear 
William ! for so I will still call you : my beloved son ! stain not the memory 
of your amiable and tender mother by your folly : break not the heart of your 
father : bring not down his gray hairs with sorrow to the grave : but rouse 

^ ' A son his father's spirit doomed to cross, 
By penning stanzas while he should engross.' 


yourself, from this seeming state of insanity. . . . Your youth will excuse 

you for once But for God's sake, and every thing you hold dear, I 

pray you to refrain, and be not again seen upon a common stage.' The tem- 
porary success of the aspirant for theatric fame, alleviated the sufferings of 
the distressed parent, and he reluctantly yielded to the advice of friends, and 
consented that Charles might occasionally tread the boards, but only in the 
elevated walks of tragedy. ' Let me enjoin it on you,' he writes, ' never to 
appear, no, not for once, in any comic act, where the mimic tricks of a mon- 
key are better fitted to excite laughter, and where dancing, singing and kiss- 
ing, may be thought amusement enough for a dollar. No, William, I had, 
much as I love you, rather follow you to the grave, than to see you, and my- 
self, and my family, so disgraced.' 

Mr. White appeared as Orlando, in his own tragedy, Dec. 20 ; Tancred, in 
Thompson's Tancred and Sigismunda, Jan. 2, 1797. Romeo, in Romeo and 
Juliet, Feb. 6 : and Octavian, in the Mountaineers, April 7, on the Boston 
stage. The ebb of popular favor effected, what parental admonition and en- 
treaty failed to accomplish. Controversy with the manager arose ; the 
applause which followed his first efforts grew fainter : the fit of romantic 
enthusiasm exhausted itself: and the earliest exertion of reflection, resulted 
in the determination to adopt the profession of the law. In July, 1797, he 
entered the oflace of Levi Lincoln, sen. in Worcester, as a student. In July, 
1800, he removed to Providence, where he completed his professional novici- 
ate, under the instruction of Judge Howell. When admitted to practise, in 
Rhode Island, in September following, a partnership was proposed by that 
gentleman, on terms which were declined. Mr. White opened an office in 
Providence, but did not obtain employment or fees. 

The want of business led directly to the want of money. The pressure of 
pecuniary embarrassment drove him again to the stage, in New York. ' On 
the 19th of January, 1801,' says Dunlap,^ ' Mr. White, a young man from 
Worcester, Massachusetts, was brought out with some promise of success, in 
Young Norval. Curiosity was excited, and a house of $614 obtained. He 
had performed in Boston, when quite a boy, with that applause so freely, and 
often so injudiciously bestowed on such efforts : had since studied law, and was 
at this time a tall, handsome youth ; but not destined by nature to shine. 
He attempted Romeo, and gave hopes of improvement, but much improve- 
ment was wanting to constitute him an artist.' He played Alonzo in Colum- 
bus ; Aimwell in the Beaux Stratagem : Tlieodore in the Court of Narbonne ; 
Elvirus in the Christian Suitor : and Altamont in the Fair Penitent. In the 
play of ' the Abb6 de I'Epee,' he failed altogether in the part of St. Alme, 
was hissed, and withdrawn by his own consent, as it was announced to the 
public, on ' finding the character too difficult.' About this time was begun, 
and nearly completed, a drama, with the title, ' the Conflict of Love and 
Patriotism, or the Afflicted Queen,' still preserved in manuscript, and never 
finished. A visit to Richmond, Va., where he played a few nights, was 
crowned with such success, that he contemplated devoting life to the theatre. 
1 History of the American Iheatre. 281, 286. 



The reverse of fortune in some of his efforts, again cured the dramatic mania. 
In the summer of 1801, he returned to the bar, and established himself in 
Rutland, in Worcester county, where some of his relatives then resided, 
and where his father, who had been unfortunate in business, soon after re- 
moved. He was married to Tamar Smith, daughter of a respectable farmer of 
that town. The degree of eminence and emolument he attained as counsellor, 
did not content his ambition, and he sought wider field. In May 1809, he 
had contracted to compile ' a Compendium of the Laws of Massachusetts,' 
printed in the same and the next following year ; a work useful at the day 
of its publication, but soon rendered useless by revisions of the statutes. 
More industry than talent was required for the compilation.^ To superintend 
the execution of this work, Mr. White removed to Boston in 1810, and formed 
a professional connection with David Everett, Esq. of brief continuance. On 
the resignation of Judge Bangs, in 1811, he was appointed County Attorney, 
which office he retained till his death. He established himself in Grafton, in 
1812 : the next year he resided in Worcester. In 1814, he removed to Sut- 
ton, where he married Susan Johannot, daughter of Dr. Stephen Monroe, 
August 13, 1815. He returned to Worcester in 1816, and died May 2, 1818. 
He had been long in declining health. An organic disease, the dropsy, dur- 
ing the last years of his life, spread ' mortal paleness' over his countenance. 

Through his whole career, the suppressed love of the dram^ was working 
on his mind. The Clergyman's Daughter, a play founded on McKensie's 
Man of the World, was first presented on the Boston stage, Jan. 1, 1810, and 
obtained remarkable success. In December of that year, he produced the 
Poor Lodger, a comedy, adopting ihe incidents of Miss Burney's novel of 
Evelina. Mr. White was a frequent correspondent of the National ^"Egis, 
while that paper was under the direction of the late Francis Blake, and after- 
wards became editor. In 1813, he published a pamphlet in vindication 
against the charge of apostasy from democratic principles. His odes and poet- 
ical productions obtained some celebrity.^ 

He possessed that high grade of talent, which is called genius. In his ad- 
dresses at the bar there Avere passages of splendid eloquence : but they were 
unequal ; although parts were strong, they were not connected with logical 
method and clearness. His taste was refined and correct. Greater constan- 
cy and perseverance might have raised him to a high rank in any of the 
departments of forensic exertion, literary effort, or dramatic exhibition. 

Samuel Brazek, son of Samuel Brazer, was born at Worcester, in 1785. 

^ The severe but witty comment of a distinguished jurist on this work was, that it re- 
sembled the tessellated pavement in Burke's description, ' here a little black-stone; there a 
little white. 

2 MS. of Samuel Jennison, Esq. White MSS. in Am. Antiq. Society's Collections. 

The publications of William Charles White are these : 1. Orlando, or Parental Perse- 
cution : tragedy : Boston, 1797, 12mo. 2. The Clergyman's Daughter: tragedy: Boston, 
1810, 12mo. 3. The poor Lodger : comedy: Boston, ISIl, 12mo. 4. Compendium and 
Digest of the Laws of Massachusetts : Boston, 1809-10, 2 vols. Svo. 6. Avowals of a Repub- 
lican : Worcester, 1813, 8 vo. 6. Oration: Rutland: July 4, 1802, 7. Oration: Worces- 
ter, July 4, 1804. 8. Oration before the Bunker Hill Association : Boston, July 4, 1809 
9. Oration ; Hubbardston, July 4, 1810. 


His early education was received in the common schools. He was placed in a 
store in Boston, preparatory to engaging in mercantile business. Discovering 
no aptitude for the employment, and a decided inclination for literary avoca- 
tions, he was sent to Leicester Academy to be prepared for college. There he 
remained long enough to be fitted for the junior class of Harvard University ; 
but owing to some difficulty with the instructor, who often felt the lash of his 
playful satire, he failed of being presented for admission. Although overfond 
of amusement, apparently idle in the habits of study, and foremost in schemes 
of frolic, he easily took and maintained the highest place of his class in the 
academy. Disappointed in going to college, he entered the office of Hon. 
Francis Blake. The tone of party politics was, at that time, high and angry. 
With characteristic impetuosity he rushed into the midst of the conflict, and 
became one of the most distinguished contributors to the National -iEgis, es- 
tablished in support of Mr. Jefferson's administration. The literary depart- 
ment of that print derived aid, in verse and prose, from his pen, in many es- 
says and poetical papers distinguished for facility, point, and caustic vein of 
humor. He was frequently called on to deliver political, orations on public 
anniversaries, and acquitted himself with great reputation. The first eff'ort of 
this kind, was an Address in commemoration of the purchase of Louisiana, 
in 1804, at the age of eighteen, which was extremely popular with his party 
friends. He entered into the practise of the profession in New Salem, Mass. 
But he did not love the law, and the enjoyments of festivity seduced him from 
the pursuit of that distinction his talents would have won. In 1812, he was 
resident in Worcester. Subsequently he removed to Baltimore, Md., where he 
conducted the newspaper called the Baltimore Patriot. Its editorial articles, 
during his connection, indicate his industry and consistency, and are marked 
by the vigor of his nervous style. He died in that city, Feb. 24, 1823. 

Enoch Lincoln, [B. C. 1821, A.M.] son of Levi Lincoln, sen., was born 
at Worcester, Dec. 28, 1788. He entered the Sophomore class of Harvard 
College in 1806. One of those unhappy commotions, which have disturbed 
the repose of the ancient seat of learning in Cambridge, occurred in 1808, and 
he voluntarily withdrew from the University during his senior year. His pro- 
fessional studies were pursued in the office of his brother, Levi Lincoln. He 
was admitted attorney in 1811, and commenced business in Salem, Mass. In 
1812, he returned to Worcester, and practised here until the spring of 1813, 
when he settled in Fryeburg, Maine. While resident there, he published 
' The Village,' a poem descriptive of the beautiful scenery of the fairest town 
on the stream of the Saco, of the wild and romantic region around, and of the 
social condition of the population of the youthful state. In 1815, he was ap- 
pointed deputy by Hon. William P. Preble, then District Attorney of the 
United States. In 1819, he was elected to Congress, and removed to Paris, 
the capital of the county. He continued to represent the district of Oxford 
in the national Legislature until 1826. He was elected Governor of Maine 
for three years succeeding that date, with the approbation of the two political 
parties, and with unanimity almost unprecedented in times of feverish excite- 
ment. In the spring of 1 829, he declined being again candidate, intending, 

ir._i/I V/"h *> ]t> ^ *^y J-^lezz 

y-rara. a. Da.^^® 



in retirement, amid the pursuits of agriculture, dear to him from education, in 
the cultivation of the natural sciences, with the flowers and fields he loved, 
and the literary avocations he delighted to follow, to seek means of usefulness 
and happiness. In the autumn, induced by ardent desire to promote the 
cause of education, he visited Augusta, to address the Female Academy, 
founded there by a philanthropic citizen. Suffering from severe sickness, the 
performance of the task exhausted his strength, and he became a martyr to the 
effort, tie retired from the exercises to the house of a friend, where he died, 
three days after, Oct. 11, 1829, at the age of forty years. 

His proclamations were marked with purity and expansive liberality of sen- 
timent, and terse felicity of expression. Official correspondence, vindicating, 
with decision and dignity, the rights of the state, was published among the 
documents of the contested north eastern boundary. His contributions to the 
press were characterized by singular elegance of style, masculine energy of 
thought, and comprehensive views. An extended work, illustrative of the his- 
tory and resources of Maine, was left unfinished, in manuscript. 

In his moral constitution there were elements brighter than gifts of genius. 
Overflowing kindness of disposition, ready to do good to every human being, 
■was associated with rectitude of judgment, and united to qualities giving to 
benevolence its highest value. The steadfast sense of justice was never de- 
based by personal interest or feeling, or darkened by sectarian or party preju- 
dice. Manly intrepidity, fearing nothing but the consciousness of doing wrong, 
was unshaken by the dread of undeserved censure or popular excitement. 

Edwakd D. Bangs, [H. U. 1827, A. M.] son of Hon. Edward Bangs of 
"Worcester, studied with his father, and, on being admitted to practice in 1813, 
entered into partnership with William E. Green, which continued four years. 
In 1816, 1817, 1820, and 1824, he was representative of the town. In 1824, 
he was appointed successor to Rejoice Newton, as County Attorney, and soon 
after, was elected Secretary of the Commonwealth. The duties of this office 
were discharged for twelve years with fidelity and ability which commanded 
the respect, and courtesy and urbanity securing the good will of all. Mr. 
Bangs declined reelection, in January, 1836, on account of the impaired state 
of his health. *^ 

JoHK Davis, Y. C. 1812, son of Isaac Davis, of Northborough, Mass. (a 
respectable farmer, and for more than forty years deacon of the church of that 
town,) studied with Hon. Francis Blake, came to the bar in Dec. 1815, and 
established himself in Spencer, in the county of Worcester, a place then of 
small business, and affording narrow sphere for the exertion of talent. In 
May, 1816, he removed to Worcester, and soon attained high professional em- 
inence. From 1823 to the time of the appointment of Levi Lincoln to the 
bench of the Supreme Court in 1824, he was partner of that gentleman; af- 
terwards connected with Charles Allen, Esq. from 1824 to 1831 ; and sub- 
sequently with Emory Washburn, Esq. to 1834. 

^ The unwearied kindness of Mr. Bangs, in full and frequent communications, and in 
permitting free access to the rolls and files among the precious treasures of the past, here- 
tofore in his official custody, has essentially aided in the preparation of this work, and de- 
serves the most rrateful acknowledimient. 


In the autumn of 1824, he was chosen Representative of the south district of 
"Worcester county in the Congress of the United States, and held his seat by 
successive reelections until January 1834. He was distinguished as the advo- 
cate of the ' American System ' of protection to home industry : his speeches 
on the bill to increase the duties on wool and woolens of 1827 ; on the Tariff 
bill of 1828 ; upon the bill for the more effectual collection of imposts of 
1830 ; and in answer to Mr. McDuffie of South Carolina in 1832 ; were wide- 
ly circulated in newspapers and pamphlets. In 1830, he was appointed by 
the Executive, special Agent, to attend at "Washington the adjustment of the 
claim of Massachusetts, for services rendered by her troops during the war 
■with England. He was elected Governor of the Commonwealth, for the year 
beginning January 1, 1834, and reelected for the succeeding political term. In 
1835 he was chosen by the Legislature, Senator of the United States for the 
period expiring in 1841. He received the degree of LL. D. from Harvard 
University, in 1834. He was elected President of the Worcester County His- 
torical Society in 1826, and Vice President of the American Antiquarian So- 
ciety in 1832. 

JoH?f W. HuBBAKD, D. C 1814, son of Roswell Hubbard, was born at 
Brookfield, "Vt., and adopted and educated by Rev. Samuel Austin, his relative 
by marriage. His professional studies were pursued partly with Gov. Van 
Ness, at Burlington, Vt., and partly with Samuel M. Burnside, Esq. From 
his admission to the bar in 1817, until his death, September 17, 1825, he 
practised here. He possessed a strong and well-cultivated mind, and had giv- 
en evidence of talents and acquirements which, with health and longer life, 
would have ensured distinction. 

Pliny Merrick, H. U. 1814, son of Hon. Pliny Merrick of Brookfield; 
studied with Levi Lincoln ; opened an office in Worcester, after admission to 
the bar in 1817 : practised here to May 1818 ; in Charlton, Mass. for three 
months following: in Swansey, Bristol county, to Aug. 1820 ; and in Taun- 
ton, where he was partner of Hon. Marcus Morton, during one year, to 1824. 
In June of the latter year, he removed to Worcester ; on the 6th of July, 1824, 
was appointed County Attorney, by Gov. Eustis, succeeding Edward D. 
Bangs, Esq. : and Attorney for the Middle District, by Gov. Lincoln, May 
24, 1832, upon the organization of the criminal courts distinct from the civil 
tribunals. He represented the town in the Legislature in 1827 ; and in 1827, 
1828, 1829, 1835, was one of the board of Selectmen. 

Austin Denkt, son of Daniel Denny, was born in Worcester, Dec. 31, 
1795. Although possessing a vigorous constitution, an accident at early age, 
occasioned a painful disease, which followed him to a premature grave. He 
graduated at Yale College in 1814, and commenced the study of law in the of- 
fice of Hon. Nathaniel Paine. The malady preying on his system, deprived 
him of the use of his right arm, and so debilitated another member, that the 
exercise of walking was attended with difficulty. Fortitude and perseverance 
mitio-ated the pressure of misfortunes so severe. In December, 1817, he was 
admitted to the bar of the Court of Common Pleas, and commenced practise 
in Harvard, in this county. In 1819 he returned to Worcester. For several 


years he was editor of the Massachusetts Spy, and in 1823, established the 
Massachusetts Yeoman, and continued proprietor and conductor of that print 
until his decease, July 1, 1830. 

He was a well-read lawyer, industrious and faithful in the transaction of 
business, and a vigorous and able writer. ' Of his intellectual powers,' says 
one who knew him well, ' the distinguishing feature was clearness and strength 
of comprehension. His views were distinct, his knowledge exact, his reason- 
ings just and candid, his expressions forcible and pertinent. lie was not one 
of the few, who could astonish by the vastness of the efforts, or the splendor 
of their achievements. He belonged to a larger, and not less useful class, 
who give life and health and vigor to society, by bringing to its service prac- 
tical talents, useful knowledge, and blameless morals.'^ 

Charles Allen, [Y. C. 1836, A. M] son of Hon. Joseph Allen, born in 
Worcester, Am^. 9, 1797, entered Yale College, but soon withdrew from that 
institution. He studied with Samuel M. Burnside, Esq. : was admitted in 
August, 1818 ; and practised in New Braintree to July, 1824. In that year 
he removed to Worcester, and was partner of Hon. John Davis to 1831. He 
was elected representative of the town in 1829, 1833, and 1834; of the Board 
of Selectmen in 1832 ; and Senator of the Commonwealth in 1835, 1836. 

Alfred Dwight Foster, H. U. 1819, son of Hon. Dwight Foster, born 
in Brookfield, studied in the office of Samuel M. Burnside, Esq., was admitted 
in 1822, and resided in his native town to 1824. He settled in Worcester in 
1825, was professional partner of Mr. Burnside until 1827, and has since re- 
tired from practise. He was representative in 1831, 1832, 1833, and select- 
man in 1832. He has been one of the Trustees and Treasurer of the State 
Lunatic Hospital from 1833. 

William S. Andrews, H. U. 1812, son of William Andrews, born in Bos- 
ton, studied at the Law School in Litchfield, Conn., and with Hon. Francis 
Blake. He was in business in Spencer, Mass. in 1817 ; afterwards practised 
in Maine ; and in Worcester in 1824 and 1834. He is now resident in Bos- 
ton, and has been author of several theological treatises. 

Isaac Davis, B. U. 1822, son of Phinehas Davis, was born in Northborough, 
Mass. ; studied with Hon. John Davis : and settled in Worcester, upon being 
admitted in 1825. He was one of the Visitors of the Military Academy at 
West Point in 1833 ; Vice President of the Massachusetts Sabbath School 
Union from 1832 ; of the Massachusetts Baptist Convention from 1833 : of 
the New England Sabbath School Union from its organization in 1835 : and 
President of the Board of Trustees of the Worcester Manual Labor High 
School from 1834. 

Thomas Kinnicutt, B. U. 1822, son of Thomas Kinnicutt, was born in 
Warren, R. I. ; studied with Hon. Francis Baylies at Taunton, Mass. ; at the 
Law School in Litchfield, Conn. ; and with Hon. John Davis ; and practised 
in Worcester from 1825. He was in the House of Representatives of Mass- 
achusetts in 1835; Trustee of the State Lunatic Hospital in 1835, 1836; 
and selectman in 1836. 

1 Massachusetts Spy, July 7, 1830. 


William Lincoln, H. U. 1822, son of Levi Lincoln, sen. 

Richard H. Vose, B. C. 1822, born at Augusta, Maine, son of Solomon. 
Vose, Esq. grandson of Rufus Chandler, studied with Levi Lincoln and Hon. 
John Davis, practised here about a year in partnership with Pliny Merrick, 
Esq. and removed to Augusta in 1826. 

Chrisiopher Columbus Baldwin, son of Eden Baldwin, was born in 
Templeton, Mass. August 1, 1800; entered Harvard University in 1819; 
and withdrew from that institution, with many of his classmates, May 1823. 
He entered the office of Levi Lincoln and Hon. John Davis, and on the re- 
tirement of the former from the bar, completed his legal studies with the lat- 
ter gentleman ; was admitted in June 1826, and commenced practise in Wor- 
cester. In May 1830, he removed to Barre, Mass., and in November follow- 
ing, to Sutton, Mass., where he formed a connection with Jonas L. Sibley, 
afterwards Marshal of Massachusetts. In the autumn of 1831, he was elect- 
ed Librarian of the American Antiquarian Society, and relinquished a pro- 
fession he never loved. The duties of this offi.ce were discharged with singu- 
lar zeal and fidelity. While on a journey for the recovering of impaired 
health, and with the purpose of exploring the mounds and memorials of the 
perished nations of the West, he was killed, in Norwich, Ohio, by the over- 
turn of a stage coach, August 20, 1835, at the age of thirty five years. 

He possessed lively wit, antiquarian taste and knowledge, kindness of dis- 
position and benevolence of feeling, and remarkable sincerity and simplicity 
of character. 

In the autumn of 1825, Mr. Baldwin became one of the editors and proprie- 
tors of the Worcester Magazine and Historical Journal, published by himself 
and William Lincoln, in monthly numbers, during a year, forming two octavo 
volumes. He furnished the history of Templeton, many essays, biographical 
sketches, and selections of revolutionary papers, for that work. 

Isaac Goodwin, son of William Goodwin, long postmaster and cashier of 
a bank in Plymouth, was born in that ancient town, June 28, 1786. Educa- 
ted in the common schools, he early entered the offi.ce of Hon. Joshua Thom- 
as, a counsellor of good reputation, and was admitted to practise in 1808. 
He opened an office in Boston, but removed, August 16, 1809, to Sterling, in 
Worcester county. There he remained to April, 1826 ; and then he became 
resident in Worcester, where he died, of dropsy of the heart, Sept. 17, 1832. 

One nurtured fast by the pilgrim's rock, on the soil they first trod, could 
not fail to imbibe the antiquarian's love of old times. Such taste, combined 
with studious habits and facility in the acquisition of knowledge, led him to 
familiar acquaintance with the traditionary lore and recorded narratives of 
New England's history. Diligent inquiry into the origin and progress of our 
Bocial and beneficent institutions, with lively interest in their objects, enabled 
him to extend their usefulness. Readiness in assuming and transacting busi- 
ness of a public character, made him a valuable member of the community. 
Writing with ease and grace, he was frequent contributor to the periodical 
press. The general view of the county, and the detailed account of Sterling, 
in the Worcester Magazine of 1826, were from his pen. He published ' The 

I.AWYEES. 211 

Town Officer,' in 1826, whicli has been through three editions: and ' The 
New England Sheriff' in 1830; useful compilations of the duties of munici- 
pal and civil officers. Of the many occasional addresses delivered by him, 
the following were printed : address before the American Antiquarian Socie- 
ty, Aug. 24, 1820 : address before the Worcester Agricultural Society, Oct. 
13, 1824 : Oration on the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the destruc- 
tion of Lancaster by the Indians, Feb. 21, 1826. 

Emory Washburn, W. C. 1817, son of Joseph Washburn of Leicester ; stud- 
ied with Nathaniel P. Denny, Esq. and Bradford Sumner, Esq. in his native 
town ; in the Law school of Harvard University ; and with Charles Dewey, 
Esq., then of Williamstown : and was admitted attorney at Lenox, in March, 
1821. He practised at Charlemont, in Franklin County, for six months ; in 
Leicester, to March, 1828 ; and since in Worcester. 

In 1826, he was representative of Leicester, Master in Chancery from 1830, 
and Trustee of the State Lunatic Hospital in 1836. 

Edwakd J. VosE, B. C. 1825, brother of Richard, studied with Hon. John 
Davis and Charles Allen, Esq., was admitted in 1828, opened an office herein 
1829, and died June 1831. 

Henry Paine, son of Hon. Nathaniel Paine of Worcester, entered Yale Col- 
lege in 1820, but soon left that institution on account of ill health ; studied 
with Samuel M. Burnside, Esq. ; and was admitted and began practise here, 
in June 1827. 

William N. Green, son of William E. Green, a native of Worcester, pur- 
sued his professional studies with Samuel M. Burnside, Esq., and commenced 
practise here in 1828. 

WiiiLiAM M. TowNE, A. C. 1825, son of Hon. Salem Towne, born in. 
Charlton, Mass., studied with Hon. John Davis and Charles Allen, Esq. : and 
commenced practise here in 1828. In 1834, he formed a partnership with 
Joseph W. Newcomb ; and in the autumn of 1835, relinquished the profession, 
and engaged in manufacture. 

Juhal Harrington, B. U. 1825, son of Fortunatus Harrington, born in Shrews- 
bury, Mass., studied in the Law School at Northampton, Mass., under the in- 
struction of the late Hon. Samuel Howe and Elijah H. Mills, and with Pliny 
Merrick, Esq. He commenced practise here in 1828 ; was editor of the 
* Worcester Republican ' from the establishment of that print, March 4, 1829 ; 
representative in 1831, and 1836 ; and postmaster from Nov. 9, 1833. 

Charles G. Prentiss, born in Leominster, Mass., was son of Charles Prentiss. 
He studied with Rejoice Newton, and practised in Oxford, Worcester county, 
from his admission in 1821 to 1829. He then removed to Worcester, and has 
been town treasurer from 1832. 

Otis C. Wheeler, son of Daniel G. W^heeler, born in Worcester, studied 
with Hon. John Davis and Charles Allen, Esq., and Avas admitted to the bar 
in 1830. Consumption had fastened upon him, and he died, of that disease, 
while on a journey, at St. Augustine, Florida, Feb. 6, 1831, aged 23. 

Daniel Henshaw, H. U. 1807, son of Col. William Henshaw, born in 
Leicester, Mass., studied with Hon. Nathaniel Paine ; practised at Winchen- 


don, in Worcester county, to 1830, in Worcester during the succeeding year; 
removed to Boston in 1832 ; and afterwards to Lynn, Mass. 

David T. Brigham, U. C. 1828, son of Edmund Brigham ; born in Shrews- 
bury, Mass. ; studied with E. C. Southerland of Orange County, N. Y. ; and 
Pliny Merrick, Esq. ; was admitted and began business here in 1831. 

Maturin L. Fisher, B. U. 1828, son of Rev. Lewis Fisher, born at Danville, 
Vt. ; studied Avith Isaac Davis, Esq. ; was admitted 1831 ; and entered into 
practise here. Since the decease of Mr. Baldwin he has been acting Librarian 
of the American Antiquarian Society. 

George Folsom, H. U. 1822, of Saco, Maine, studied with Ether Shepley, 
Esq. and commenced practise here in 1.832. 

Benjamin F. Thomas, B. TT. 1830, son of Isaiah Thomas, jun., and grandson 
of Dr. Isaiah Thomas ; studied in the Law School of Harvard University, and 
with Pliny Merrick, Esq., and was admitted to practise in 1833. 

Fdwin Gonant, H. U. 1829, son of Jacob Conant, born in Sterling, Mass , 
studied with Rejoice Newton and William Lincoln, and at the Law School in 
Cambridge ; practised in Sterling to 1833 ; and since in Worcester. 

Jesse W. Goodrich, U. C. 1829, son of Jesse Goodrich, born in Pittsfield, 
Mass. ; studied with Jonathan Jenkins of Rensselaerville, N. Y. ; and R. M. 
Blatchford in the city of New York. In 1833, he was admitted at the bar of 
Worcester county, and formed a copartnership with David T. Brigham, which 
continued to June, 1836. 

Abijah Bigeloiv, D. C. 1795, son of Elisha Bigelow, born in Westminster, 
Mass. ; studied with Hon. Samuel Dana in Groton ; and for a short time with 
Hon. Samuel Dexter in Charlestown : and practised in Leominster to 1817. On 
the decease of Hon. Francis Blake, he was appointed Clerk of the Courts, 
•which he resigned in the spring of 1834, and opened an office in Worcester, 
in connection with George Folsom, Esq. This partnership continued about a 

Mr. Bigelow was member of the House of Representatives in the 11th and 
12th Congress, from 1810 to 1813. 

Ira Barton, B. U. 1819, born in Oxford, Mass. ; studied with Samuel W. 
Bridgham, Esq. in Providence, R. I. ; Sumner Barstow, Esq. in Sutton ; 
Levi Lincoln in Worcester ; and in the Law School at Cambridge ; and prac- 
tised in Oxford to 1834. He represented that town in the Legislature of the 
Commonwealth, in 1830, 1831, 1832 ; and was Senator of Massachusetts in 
1833, 1834. In 1834, he removed to Worcester, and, in Jan. 1836, was ap- 
pointed Judge of Probate for the county of Worcester, on the resignation of 
Hon. Nathaniel Paine. 

George W. Richardson, H. U. 1829, son of John Richardson, now of New- 
ton, born in Boston ; studied with John H. Richardson, Esq. and Pliny 
Merrick, Esq. : was admitted, and began practise here, in 1834. 

Andrew Jaclcson Davis, son of Phinehas Davis, born in Northborough, 
Mass. ; studied with his brother, Isaac Davis, Esq. and after admission to 
practise, in September, 1834, was connected in business with him for a year. 

Daniel Waldo Lincoln, H. U. 1831, son of Levi Lincoln, born in Worces- 

tAWYEES. 213 

ter, studied witli Rejoice Newton and William Lincoln, and was admitted to 
practise in 1834. 

Joseph W. Newcomh, W. C. 1825, son of Richard E. Newcomb, born in 
Greenfield, Mass. studied with his father and with Rejoice Newton and Wil- 
liam Lincoln, practised in Templeton to 1830 ; Salisbury, Mass. to 1834 : and 
since in Worcester. He removed to New Orleans in the autumn of 1836. 

William Pratt, B. U. 1825, son of Col. Nymphas Pratt, born in Shrews- 
bury, Mass. ; studied with Pliny Merrick, Esq.; and practised in his native town, 
until April, 1835 ; when he came to Worcester, and formed professional con- 
nection with Mr. Merrick. 

AxDKEW D. McFarland, U. C. 1832, son of William McFarland, born 
in Worcester, in 1811, studied with Hon. John Davis and Emory Washburn, 
Esq. ; commenced practise here in 1835 ; and died in Worcester, June 
23, 1836. 

John H. Richardson, H. U. 1825, brother of George W. Richardson, born 
at Concord, Mass.: studied with Hon. Levi Thaxter, of Watertown, Hon. 
William Prescott and Franklin Dexter, Esq. of Boston ; and commenced prac- 
tise in Newton, Mass. He removed to Worcester, April, 1836, and entered 
into partnership with his brother. 

George Ticknor Curtis, H. U. 1832, son of Benjamin Curtis of Boston, 
born in Watertown ; studied in the Law School at Cambridge ; in the offices 
of Wells and Alvord at Greenfield ; and of Charles P. Curtis in Boston ; was 
admitted in Sufi'olk, August, 1836, and established himself in Worcester soon 


It is not now practicable to trace with exactness the succession of physi- 
cians of the town. Of the professional life of the early medical men, no pub- 
lic record remains : of their personal history, little has been preserved. The 
few memorials of their useful labors which can be gathered, are derived prin- 
cipally from tradition. The following list, accurate so far as it extends, can- 
not be considered full or complete. 

Robert Crawford, was probably the first practitioner of medicine in 
Worcester. He emigrated from Ireland with the colony of Scottish extrac- 
tion, planting here in 1718. From his employment in the military expedi- 
tions of the period, in the capacity of surgeon, it may be inferred that he sus- 
tained respectable professional standing. 

William Craavford, united the clerical and medical offices, and served in 
the French Wars, sometimes as chaplain and sometimes as surgeon. He was 
in the campaigns in Nova Scotia and on the northern frontier.^ 

Samuel Breck, son of Rev. Robert Breck, second minister of Marlborough, 
•who married Elizabeth Wainwright of Haverhill, in 1707, was probably here 

1 A branch of the Crawford family, was early settled in that part of Eutland called 
Dublin : several brought testimoDials of their church fellowship in Ireland. Hon. William 
H. Crawford, formerly Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, and Judge of the 
Supreme Court of Georgia, is said to have descended from the planters of Rutland. Reed's 
Rutland, 155. 



in 1730. He too was surgeon in the provincial army. He removed to 
Windsor, Conn, about 1747, and died in Springfield, Mass. in 1764. 

Nahum Willard, son of Col. Abijah Willard, of Lancaster, was born 
April 22, 1733, and probably settled here about 1755. He was surgeon of 
Capt. Goodwin's company, marching with Col. Chandler's regiment for the 
relief of Fort William Henry in 1757: and was in extensive practise. He 
removed to Uxbridge, Mass. after the revolution, and died there, April 26, 
1792, aged 59. 

John •Green, (sen.) son of Dr. Thomas Green,^ was born at Leicester, 
Aug. 14, 1736. Educated by his father, and inheriting peculiar talents, he 
came into the profession early, and settled in Worcester about 1757. Tradi- 
dition bears ample, though very general, testimony of his worth. Fortunate 
adaptation of natural capacity to professional pursuits, gave an extensive cir- 
cuit of employment and high reputation. Habits of accurate observation, the 
action of vigorous intellect, and the results of experience, seem to have sup- 
plied the place of that learning, deriving its acquirements from the deductions 
of others, through the medium of books. Enjoying great esteem for skill and 
fidelity, hospitality and benevolence secured personal regard. He was a lead- 
ing and influential whig, member of the revolutionary committees, representa- 
tive in 1777, and selectman in 1780. He died Oct. 29, 1799, aged 63 years. ^ 

Elijah Dix, son of James Dix of Waltham, studied Avith the elder Dr. 
Green, and commenced practise about 1770. Managing extensive concerns, 
and having much employment as physician and druggist, he was in active 
business more than thirty years. He died at Dixmont, Me. June 7, 1809. 

William Paine, H. U. 1768, eldest son of Hon. Timothy Paine, was 

1 Thomas Green, ancestor of a family distinguished through successive generations for 
medical skill, was a native of Maiden, Mass. 'the surgeon of a British ship, a casual vis- 
itor of his father, probably gave direction to the taste of the son, by the donation of a vol- 
ume on medicine. Active, energetic, and enterprising, he set forth into the ivilderness to 
seek fortune, with the outfit of an axe, a gun, a cow, and his whole library of one book, 
and became an early settler of the plantation, called by the natives Towtaid, by the English 
Strawberry-bank, now Leicester. His first dwelling was formed under a shelving rock, 
which stretched a natural roof over his cabin. The severe labor of hewing away the forest 
brought on a fever. Feeling the premonitoi'y symptons of the disease, he provided for 
subsistence during impending sickness in the solitude, by tying the calf of the single ani- 
mal he owned, near his primitive habitation, and when the mother returned to feed her 
offspring, he was enabled to obtain the nourishment feeble condition prevented him from 
seeking abroad, and thus, alone and unassisted, he preserved a valuable life through se- 
vere illness. 

The Indians were near neighbors of the white settler. From their communicated knowl- 
edge of roots and herbs, from the science drawn from a few books, and, more than all, 
from the action of a vigorous mind, he soon became skilful as a physician. While he ex- 
ercised the cure of bodies, he assumed the care of souls, as clergyman, an union of pro- 
fessions not remarkable in early times. Bis success as a preacher, was scarcely less con- 
siderable than his reputation as doctor. A respectable Baptist society was gathered, and 
a meeting house built, through his agency. A life of persevering industry and extensive 
usefulness, terminated, October 25, 1778, at the age of 73 years. Thatcher's Medical Bi- 
ography, 274. Washburn's Leicester in Wor. Hist. Mag. ii. 92. 

■■* Dr. Green married Mary Osgood, and afterwards Mary, daughter of Brigadier Timothy 
Buggies, who died June 16, 1814, aged 74 years. 


born in Worcester, June 5, 1750. One of his early instructors was President 
John Adams, who taught a school while reading law in the office of James 
Putnam. His medical studies were under the direction of the late venerahle 
Dr. Edward A. Holyoke, at Salem. After the usual period of novitiate, he 
commenced practise here, in 1771. A partnership was formed with Drs. Le- 
vi Shepherd and Ebenezer Hunt of Northampton, for the sale of drugs and 
medicines, and the first apothecary's shop of the county opened here, about 
1 772. For the purpose of facilitating the negotiations of this business abroad, 
and of perfecting his medical education, Dr. Paine visited Europe, long previ- 
ous to the commencement of hostilities. Sailing from England, in the spring 
of 1775, he found, on his arrival at Salem, that war had broken out. The 
proceedings of the revolutionary tribunals, were summary. On the evidence 
that he was an absentee, he was denounced as loyalist. Return to his family 
and home being precluded, he took passage back to Liverpool, designing to 
avail himself of the advantages and means of improvement afforded by foreign 
institutions, until the conflict should terminate. His property, thus abandon- 
ed, suffered confiscation, and his name was inserted on the list of those desig- 
nated as enemies of their country. After a year's attendance on the hospitals, 
having received the diploma of Doctor of Medicine from Marischal College, 
Aberdeen, Nov. 1, 1775, as the contest still continued, he accepted the com- 
mission of Apothecary to the forces in America, entered the army in that ca- 
pacity, and served in Rhode Island and at New York. In January, 1781, in 
attendance on his patient, Lord Winchelsea, he again crossed the Atlantic. 
Driven from her course by storms, the ship entered the port of Lisbon. After 
some stay there, he went to England, and in October, was admitted licentiate 
of the Royal College of Physicians, and, for a long time, his name was en- 
rolled among those of the practitioners of London. Returning to New York, 
in March, 1782, he was appointed by Sir Guy Carlton, in October following, 
Physician to the army, and soon was ordered to Halifax, where he remained 
on duty, until the troops were reduced, in 1783, when he was disbanded on 
half pay. In June, 1784, he took possession of Le Tete Island, in the Bay 
of Passamaquoddy, granted by the government for services, and erected a 
house, with a view to permanent residence. The solitude of the wild situa- 
tion not proving agreeable to his family, he removed, and entered into prac- 
tise in the city of St. Johns. In 1785, he was elected member of the assem- 
bly of New Brunswick, from the County of Charlotte; and appointed Clerk 
of that body. The office of deputy, was conferred by his friend. Gov. Went- 
worth, Surveyor General of the King's Forests, and retained until the summer 
of 1787, when, by permission from the War Office, he went to Salem. With 
good professional business, and occasionally writing marine policies there, af- 
ter the death of his father, July 17, 1793, he returned to his native place, and 
occupied the paternal estate until his decease, April 19, 1833, at the age of 
83 years. 

Dr. Paine was fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and 
member of the Medical, Agricultural, Linnean, Essex Historical, and Ameri- 
can Antiquarian Societies. He possessed extensive professional learning and 


refined literary taste, and was equally respected as a pHysician and citizen. 

Joseph Ltkde, son of Joseph Lynde,^ born at Charlestown, Mass. Feb. 8, 
1749, commenced practise about 1774, and was for a time connected with Dr. 
Dix ; superintended the hospital for the small pox in 1775, and had the repu- 
tation of a first-rate physician and an excellent man. He removed about 1783, 
and established himself as druggist in Hartford, Conn., and died in that city, 
Jan. 15, 1829, aged 80. 

Among other physicians in practise here before the revolution were these : 
Ebenezer Whitney, in the inventory of whose estate, March 7, 1744, the 
library is appraised at 4s. 6d. and the drugs at £6. 18s. : Zachariah Hak- 
YEY, whose medical title is preserved on the records, with the fact that he slew 
sixty seven rattlesnakes in 1740 : John Fiske, who died here in 1761 ; 
Thomas Nichols of Danvers, who came from Sutton about 1765, and died 
Dec. 17, 1794, at the age of 82 years : William and Geokge Walkek, sons 
Oif that Capt. John Walker, who commanded a company of foot in the provin- 
cial service during the French wars. 

Thaddetjs Maccarty, Y. C. 1766, son of the Rev. Thaddeus Maccarty, 
ivas born in Worcester, Dec. 19, 1747. Under the instruction of Dr. John 
Frink of Rutland, an eminent physician of the county, he received his medical 
education, and commenced practise in Dudley, in 1770, entering into partner- 
ship and extfensive business with Dr. Ebenezer Lillie. On the termination of 
three years, this connection was dissolved. Removing to Fitchburg, Mass. he 
found there full and laborious employment. The small pox made fearful ravages 
in the country about this period. Dr. James Latham, managed this terrible 
disease, once the scourge of the race, with great safety in the Suttonian meth- 
od.^ To acquire the art of resisting the prevalent malady, in 1775, Dr. Mac- 
carty left his family, repaired to a hospital in Great Barrington under the su- 
perintendence of this practitioner, and learned the mode of cure by suf- 
fering its operation. In the following year, having obtained the right to ex- 
tend the remedy, and the license required by law from the Court of Sessions, 
with Dr. Israel Atherton of Lancaster, he conducted a hospital in Fitchburg, 

^ Josepb Lynde, H. U. 1723, born at Charlestown, Mass. Jan. 7, 1703, married Mary Lem- 
moo, Feb. 24, 1736. After the destruction of Charlestown by the British troops in 1775, 
he resided in Worcester till his death. Four of his daughters married here : 1. Sarah, b. 
Feb. 21, 1743, m. Andrew Duncan : 2. Dorothy, b. May 23, 1746, m. Dr. Elijah Dix : 3. 
Elizabeth, b. Oct. 1, 1756, m. Theophilus Wheeler, Esq. d. March 7, 1833 : 4. Hannah, b. 
July 4, 1760, married Hon. Edward Bangs, d. Sept. 10, 1806. 

■•^ The remedy was kept secret by the inventor. Dr. William Sutton, of Surry, in England, 
except from those who purchased knowledge. It is hinted in a publication of the time, that, in 
obtaining his patent, he veiled his discovery by a false specification. Dr. Latham, sur- 
geon in his majesty's 8th regiment of foot, partner and agent of Sutton, who introduced 
the system in America, resided at Livingston Manor, in New York. He licensed physi- 
cians to administer the medicines prepared and furnishad by himself, within certain towns 
and limits, they contracting to pay over to him one half of all monies received, until his 
portion should amount to three hundred pounds, and afterwards, one third of all further 
sums obtained in the business: and covenanting not to attempt, by analysis or otherwise, 
to discover the composition of the medicines. Different innocent drugs were mixed in the 
preparation, to defeat any examination which might be made. MS. of John W. Stiles, Esq. 


with such success, that of eight hundred patients, five only were lost by death. 
The earnest solicitations of his father, the venerable clergyman of Worces- 
ter, then fast declining to the grave, induced the son, at great sacrifice, to re- 
turn to his native town, in June, 1781. In June, 1785, he was elected Fel- 
low of the Massachusetts Medical Society. Not receiving adequate patronage 
here, and his own health being much impaired, he took up his permanent res- 
idence in Keene, N. H. in June, 1789, and engaged in mercantile business, 
practising physic occasionally. In the spring of 1793, he again made use 
of Dr. Sutton's medicine, in a small pox hospital at Charlestown, N. H. In 
1796, he applied Dr. Perkins' once famous Metallic Tractors, with singular 
efficacy. For some time, wonderful cures were wrought, and these fanciful 
agents, in his hands, enjoyed signal reputation. But the warm faith so essen- 
tial to their usefulness subsided, and the Tractors sunk beneath the merciless 
satire of Fessenden. In February, 1797, Dr. Maccarty was commissioned 
Justice of the peace for the County of Cheshire, and in February, 1802, of 
the Quorum, and officiated extensively in the capacity of magistrate. He was 
Chairman of the Selectmen of Keene for many years. He died in that town, 
Nov. 21, 1802.1 

John Green, the second of like name and fame, born in Worcester, March 
18, 1763, came to the practise of medicine at the early age of eighteen years. 
* From his childhood,' writes his biographer,- ' the natural bias of his mind led 
him to that profession, which through life, was the sole object of his ardent 
pursuit. To be distinguished as a physician, was not his chief incentive. To 
assuage the sufi'erings of humanity by his skill, was the higher motive of his 
benevolent mind. Every duty was performed with delicacy and tenderness. 
With these propensities, aided by a strong, inquisitive, and discriminating 
mind, he attained to a preeminent rank among the physicians and surgeons of 
our country.' It has been the high privilege of few of our community to en- 
joy so much of confidence and respect ; to be so loved while living, and so 
mourned when dead. A life whose events were acts of usefulness, skill and 
charity, afi'ords few incidents for narrative; it was terminated Aug. 11, 1808. 

Samuel Prentice, a man of talents and eminent as a surgeon, came from 
Stonington, Conn, in January, 1783. A Medical Society was formed in the 
County in 1785, but not sustained. Of this association he was Secretary. 
He removed to Keene, N. H. about 1786 ; and afterwards settled in Sarato- 
ga. N. Y. 

Oliver Fiske, H. U. 1787, son of Rev. Nathan Fiske, was born in Brook- 
field, Mass. Sept. 2, 1762. His early education was superintended by his 
father, whose productive farm, during most of the revolutionary war, was, 
from necessity, principally confided to his management. In the summer of 

1 Dr. Maccarty married Experience, daughter of Thomas Cowdin, Esq. of Fitchburg, Jan. 
1775 : she died at Worcester, Jan. 29, 1789. His only daughter married, Nov. 1801, John 
W. Stiles, Esq. sometime of Templeton, who died at Worcester, Sept. 1836. 

Although the Rev. Thaddeus Maccarty had a numerous family of fifteen children, there 
now survive of his posterity only one grand child, two great-grandchildren, and three 
gre at-great-grandchildren. 

' Hon. Oliver Fiske, in Thatcher's Medical Biography 


1780, a requisition for recruits was made. The quotas of men had, thus far, 
been furnished without compulsory process ; but levies had been so frequent, 
that none would enlist freely, at a season so busy. The company, then com- 
manded by the late Major General John Cutler, was ordered to meet for a 
draft. Exempted, by the courtesy extended to clergymen, from military duty, 
and never having been enrolled, Dr. Fiske offered himself as volunteer, with 
the approbation of his father, who applauded the patriotic spirit, while the per- 
sonal sacrifice it involved was severely felt. Animated by the example, the 
requisite number came from the ranks on the parade. The regiment, in which 
they were embodied, was ordered to West Point, and was stationed in the vi- 
cinity of that post, at the defection of Arnold and the capture and execution 
of Andre. On being discharged, he returned to the farm, and was employ- 
ed in its cultivation until the close of the war, in 1783, when he entered Har- 
vard College. At the breaking out of Shay's Insurrection, he was instrumen- 
tal in reorganizing the Marti-Mercurian Band of the University, in obtaining 
an order from Gov. Bowdoin for sixty stands of arms at Castle William, and 
was second officer of the company. When the court commenced at Concord, 
he was the organ of a petition from this corps, to march in support of gov- 
ernment, which was properly declined by the authorities of the institution. In 
the winter vacation of 1786-7, he took a school at Lincoln, but hearing of the 
threatened movements of the malcontents to stop the judicial tribunals at 
Worcester, he procured a substitute to assume his engagement, exchanged the 
ferule for appropriate weapon, and hastened to this place. Finding the en- 
emy dispersed, and the troops on their way to Springfield, he set out to visit 
his father. On the heights of Leicester, the report of Gen. Shepherd's Artil- 
lery diverted him from his course. Uniting himself to a body of light horse- 
men, then on their route, he joined Gen. Lincoln's army. When the rebel- 
lion was suppressed, he resumed his studies, without censure for the long ab- 
sence, and graduated in 1787. After the usual preparation, under the tuition 
of Dr. Atherton, of Lancaster, he commenced business in this town, in Octo- 
ber, 1790. He was active in forming a County Medical Association, and in 
obtaining the establishment of the present district organization of the Mass. 
Medical Society. Soon after the formation of the last named body in the sec- 
ond medical district, he was elected President, and held th6 offices of Coun- 
cillor and Censor until he retired from the profession. In February, 1803, he 
was appointed special Justice of the Court of Common Pleas. During five 
years succeeding 1809, he was member of the Executive Council. The com- 
missions of Justice of the Peace, of the Quorum, and throughout the Com- 
monwealth, were successively received, and the latter has been renewed to the 
present time. Dr. Fiske was Corresponding Secretary of the Linnean Socie- 
ty of New England in 1815 ; of the Worcester Agricultural Society from 
1824 ; and Councillor of the American Antiquarian Society. He was Regis- 
ter of Deeds during the triennial term from 1816 to 1821. From this period, 
an increasing defect in the sense of hearing, induced him to retire from busy 
life, and devote himself to the pursuits of horticulture and agriculture, those 
employments, in his own graceful language, ' the best substitute to our pro- 


genitors for their loss of Paradise, and the best solace to their posterity for the 
evils they entailed.' The results of that taste and skill in his favorite occupa- 
tions, early imbibed, ardently cherished, and successfully cultivated, have been 
freely and frequently communicated to the public in many essays, useful and 
practical in matter, and singularly elegant in manner. 

John Green, B. U. 1804, son of the second Dr. Green, born in Worcester, 
studied with his father, and succeeded to his practise in 1807. He has re- 
ceived the degree of M. D. from Harvard and Brown Universities, and been 
Councillor and Censor of the Massachusetts Medical Society, President of the 
Worcester District Medical Society, and Councillor of the American Antiqua- 
rian Society. 

Benjamin Chapin, son of Thaddeus Chapin, was born at Worcester, May 
29, 1781. He studied with the second Dr. John Green, and first entered in- 
to practise in Marlborough, Mass. In 1808, he returned, was elected town 
clerk from 1818 to 1833, and died here Jan. 15, 1835, aged 54 years. 

Benjamin F. Hcywood, D. C. 1812, son of Hon. Benjamin Heywood, a 
native of Worcester, attended the lectures of Dr. Nathan Smith in the Medi- 
cal schools of Dartmouth and Yale Colleges, received the degree of M. D. at 
the latter institution in 1815, and formed partnership in practise with Dr. 
John Green, which continued twenty years. He is Councillor and Censor of 
the Massachusetts Medical Society. 

Oliver Hunter Blood, H. U. 1821, son of Gen. Thomas H. Blood of Ster- 
ling, was born at Bolton, Mass. His studies were pursued with Dr. Lemuel 
Capen in Sterling, and in the Medical Institution of Harvard University, 
where he received his degree in regular course. He practised in Worcester 
from 1825 to 1828 : resided in Brookfield, Mass. from April, 1829, to Feb. 
1831, when he returned to Worcester. 

John Simphins Butler, Y. C. 1825, son of Daniel Butler, born in North- 
ampton, Mass. : pursued his professional studies in the Medical College in 
Boston, and the Jefferson Medical School in Philadelphia, and received the 
degree of M. D. at the latter institution, in 1828. He commenced practise in 
Worcester, in 1829. 

George Chandler, son of Maj. John Wilkes Chandler, born in Pomfret, 
Conn., pursued his preparatory studies in Brown University and Union Col- 
lege, read medicine with Dr. H. Holt, and received the degree of M. D. at 
Yale College, March 4, 1831 ; commenced practise in Worcester, Nov. 3, 
1831 ; and since March 28, 1833, has resided in the State Lunatic Hospital, 
in the capacity of Assistant Physician and Apothecary. 

Samuel Bayard Woodward, [Y. C. 1822, M. D.] son of Dr. Samuel 
Woodward,^ an eminent physician of Torringford, Conn, is a native of that 
town. Having received a good academic education, he pursued medical stud- 

1 Dr. Samuel Woodward, born at Watertown, Conn. 1750, was not only distinguished in 
his profession, but in political life. From 1800 to 1810, he was the candidate of the dem- 
ocratic party, then a minority, for member of Congress ; was long member of the Legisla- 
ture of Connecticut ; and, for many years, as the oldest representative, ' father of the 
house.' He died, Jan 26, 1835, aged 84. 


ies, and entered into practice, with his father, in his birth place. Removing 
to Wethersfield, Conn, in November, 1810, extensive engagements of busi- 
ness attended his high professional reputation. During his residence there, 
he was elected Secretary of the Connecticut Medical Society, Vice President 
of the Hopkins Medical Association, and one of the Medical Examiners of Yale 
College. In 1827, he was appointed Physician of the State's Prison in 
Wethersfield, and held this office six years. In the spring of 1832, he was 
chosen Senator in the Legislature of Connecticut from the first district. In 
the foundation of the Retreat for the Insane, at Hartford, he bore leading part. 
One of the first by whom the project of that noble charity was presented to 
the public, by his efibrts, the funds of the Medical Society of the State were 
bestowed for this most worthy purpose. Of the committees to obtain sub- 
scriptions, to assist in the foundation of the institution, determine its location, 
and superintend the erection of buildings, and one of the Visitors, the great 
weio'ht of his personal exertions and influence were devoted to its prosperity. 

By a selection most fortunate for Massachusetts, Dr. Woodward was appoin- 
ted Superintendent of the State Lunatic Hospital, and became resident in 
Worcester in January, ISSS,-"- bringing to that establishment, on its commence- 
ment, those high qualifications desirable for its success. 

Since his residence here he has become member of the Massachusetts Medi- 
cal Society, of the Ohio Historical, Philosophical and Medical Society, Presi- 
dent of a Temperance Society, and connected with other literary, medical, and 
useful associations. 

The heavy and increasing labors of his official situation, preclude him from 
exercising, beyond the wails of the hospital, except in consultation, the skill 
and experience acquired by wide practice. Yet the relation beholds, justifies, 
while his high character renders desirable, the claim, to number among our 
physicians, one of whose name any community, might be proud. 

Aaron Gardner Babcock, son of Amos Babcock, born at Princeton, Mass. : 
studied with Dr. Chandler Smith in that town ; attended the lectures, and re- 
ceived medical degree at Bowdoin College, in 1830 ; commenced and contin- 
ued business in Holden for three succeeding years ; and began practise here 
in May, 1834. 

William Workman, son of Daniel T. Workman, born in Coleraine, Mass. 
studied with Dr. Seth Washburn at Greenfield, and Dr. Flint at Northamp- 
ton, and received the degree of M. D. at the Medical College of Harvard Uni- 
versity in 1825. He practised in Shrewsbury from 1825 to 1835, and in 
April of the latter year, removed to Worcester. 

Chandler Smith, son of Calvin Smith, born in Peru, Berkshire county, 
studied with Dr. John M Smith of West Boylston, received his professional 
diploma from the Berkshire Medical Institution in 1825: and practised in 
Princeton, Mass. from Nov. 1826, until his removal to Worcester in June, 1836. 

1 On the removal of Dr. Woodward from Wethersfield, a card was transmitted to him, 
subscribed by 670 persons, expressing warm personal regard, high respect for his talents, 
worth and usefulness, and the sincere regret, which would be understood by all who enjoy 
his acquaintance, for his departure. Mass. Spy, Jan, 16, 1833. 


Among the physicians since the revolution, not included in the foregoing 
list, were : George Holmes Hai-l, a native of Medford, who practised here 
nearly three years from 1788, married a daughter of Gardner Chandler, and 
removed to Brattleborough, Vt. where he remained in his profession and in 
the business of apothecary : Samuel Willakd of Harvard, who was resi- 
dent of this town about two years after 1790: and John Homaxs, after- 
wards of Brookfield, now of the city of Boston, who was of Worcester a few 
months in 1815.^ 


Graduates of Colleges, and natives of the town who have received liberal education. Dis- 
tinguished citizens. John Chandler. Capt. Jonas Hubbard. Col. Timothy Bigelow. 
Col. Ephraim Doolittle. David Thomas. Benjamin Hejwood. Joseph Allen. Isaiah 

Joseph Allen is the first person borne on the records of Harvard College 
from Worcester. His father was the Rev. Benjamin Allen, an early settler, 

1 The kindness of that accurate antiquarian, the Rev. Dr. T. M. Harris, by a communi- 
cation since the last sheet went through the press, has furnished materials for correcting 
and extending the very brief notice of Dr. Dix, on page 214. 

Doct. Elijah Dix, was born at Wutertown, Aug. 24, 1747. Enjoying few advantages of 
early education, such was his desire to become qualified for respectable station in society, 
that, when a young man, he went to live with the Rev. Aaron Hutchinson of Grafton, en- 
gaging to do sufficient work for him to pay for board and instruction. With this eccentric 
man, who was a thorough scholar, he made good proficiency in the elements of literature 
and science. His circumstances in life precluding the attainment of collegiate education, 
he entered himself as medical student with Dr. John Green. On commencing the practise 
of the profession in Worcester, he connected with it an Apothecary's store, having been 
qualified for this business by being sometime with Dr. William Greenleaf of Boston, and 
by careful attention to the most approved Dispensatories. In the spring of 1784, having 
unsettled accounts with Dr. Sylvester Gardner, who went, at the commencement of the 
revolution, from Boston to England as a loyalist. Dr. Dix, with an honorable sense of re- 
sponsibility, made a voyage thither, with the means to liquidate the outstanding claims. 
An adjustment was effected to the mutual satisfaction of the old friends. The visit aflFor- 
ded opportunity, not only of enlarging his knowledge of mankind, but establishing corres- 
pondence, for trade, with the houses of eminent chemists and druggists in London. Be- 
sides a choice assortment of medicines, he brought back some valuable books and philosoph- 
ical and chemical apparatus. Returning to Worcester, he formed the plan of an Academy 
here, and uniting with him a number of gentlemen, the institution was commenced, and for 
some time flourished. Attentive to public improvement, he was the first to set trees himself, 
and induce others to plant them, on the borders of Main Street. He was one of the most effi- 
cient and zealous promoters of the Worcester and Boston Turnpike, a work aflFording, at the 
period of its establishment, great facilities to travel. Having built a house in Boston, and a 
store for wholesale druggist's trade, he removed there in 1795. After that part of Dorchester, 
now South Boston, was set off from the metropolis, and connected with it by a bridge, he 
erected there an edifice, with furnaces and ovens, for refining Sulphur, and a laboratory 
for clarifying camphor, and other preparations, proofs alike of chemical science and ener- 
getic spirit. 

He was of strong natural powers of mind, of active industry and ardent enterprise. As 
a physician, skill, improved by study, observation, and experience, rendered his services 
useful and successful, MS. of Rev. T, M. Harris. 


to whom land was granted at the south east corner of the town. He was 
born Feb. 14, 1720, entered the University, but was not graduated, and, it 
seems, died early. 

Timothy Paine, H. U. 1748, son of Hon. Nathaniel Paine of Bristol, R. I. 
removed to Worcester at the age of eight years, and was long one of our most 
respected and useful citizens. Soon after leaving college he was engaged in 
the public service. The number and variety of offices he held, exhibit the es- 
timation in which he stood. He was clerk of the Courts from 1750 to 1774 : 
Register of Probate from 1756 to 1767: Register of Deeds from 1761 to 
1778 : Member of the Executive Council of the Province from 1766 to 1773 ; 
in 1774, was appointed one of his Majesty's Mandamus Councillors, a station 
which was declined in compliance with public will, expressed in the manner 
related in preceding pages; Selectman from 1753 to 1763, and from 1765 to 
1774: Town Clerk for ten years from 1753: and Representative in 1788 
and 1789. 

Solid talents, practical sense, candor, sincerity, affability, and mildness, 
were the characteristics of his life, which closed July 17, 1793, at the age of 
63 years. 

RxjFus Chandler, H. U. 1766. See Lawyers, 

Samuel Willakd, H. U. 1767, son of Dr. Nahum Willard, born April 
13, 1748, studied medicine with Dr. Israel Atherton of Lancaster, and estab- 
lished himself in Uxbridge in 1770. He was particularly distinguished for his 
treatment of the insane.^ 

William Paine, H. U. 1768. See Physicians. 

Nathaniel Chandler, H. U. 1768, son of Hon. John Chandler, born 
Nov. 6, 1750, a student of James Putnam, was called to the bar in 1771, and 
commenced business in Petersham, which he continued until the courts were 
closed. Almost necessarily a royalist, he became a refugee, and, for a time, 
commanded a corps of volunteers in the British service. From New York 
he went to England. Returning, in 1784, he engaged in trade in Petersham. 
Sickness compelled him to relinquish the shop. He removed to Worcester, 
where he died, March 7, 1801. ^ 

Samuel Paine, H. U. 1771, son of Hon. Timothy Paine, born Aug. 23, 
1754; was associated with his father as Clerk of the Courts and Register 
of Probate, before the revolution. He left the country, and visited New 
York, Nova Scotia, and England. He received a pension of £84 per annum, 
from the British government, as an American Loyalist. After the war he 
returned home, and died in Worcester, June 21, 1807. 

William Chandler, H. U. 1772, son of Hon. John Chandler, born Dec. 
5, 1752, left the country at the commencement of the revolution, and re- 

1 He married Olive, daughter of Rev. Amariah Frost, of Milford, by whom he had two 
sons : 1. Abijah, born Feb. 16, 1782, practised medicine in Uxbridge, and died April 12, 
.1816. 2. George, physician in Uxbridge, and representative of that town in the Legisla- 
ture. Levi Willard, brother of Samuel, son of Nahum, born in Worcester, Nov. 2i, 1749, 
studied with his father, and went into the practise of medicine and surgery in Mendon ; 
acquired good reputation in both departments ; and died there Dec. 11, 1809. 

2 Willard's Address, 77. 


mained with the British during that contest. He returned, and died in Wor- 

James Putnam, H. U. 1774, son of James Putnam, Esq. born Nov. 16, 
1756, retired to Nova Scotia immediately after leaving the University ; be- 
came a favorite with the Duke of Kent ; accompanied him to England, ob- 
tained the office of Marshal ; was member of the household of his patron, and 
one of the executors of his will. 

Daniel Bigelow, H. U. 1775, son of Daniel Bigelow, was born April 
27, 1752. After leaving college, he instructed the town school to the spring 
of 1776. Then he formed connection with William Stearns, Esq. in the 
publication of the Spy. On the return of Mr. Thomas from Salem, in 1777, 
the newspaper was surrendered to its original proprietor. He then entered 
the office of Mr. Stearns, as student at law, was admitted June, 1780, and 
opened an office in Petersham, where he died Nov. 5, 1806. He was repre- 
sentative of that town from 1790 to 1795 ; senator of the county from 1794 
to 1799; member of the executive council in 1801; and was successor to 
Judge Sprague and predecessor of Judge Paine, as county attorney.-' 
Nathaniel Paine, H. U. 1775. See Lawyers. 

Samuel Chandler, son of John Chandler, born Feb. 25, 1757, was mer- 
chant, for some time connected with his brother Charles in Worcester, after- 
wards engaged in trade in Putney, Vt. and was in extensive business. He 
died Oct. 26, 1813, in Woodstock, Vt. He entered Harvard College in 1771, 
but soon left the University. 

Timothy Bigelow, H. U. 1786, was born in Worcester, April 30, 1767. 
His father, Col. Timothy Bigelow, engaging in the primary movements of 
the revolution, was soon called into military service. The early education of 
the son, necessarily devolving on maternal care, was commenced in the public 
schools of his native place. This then imperfect source of instruction was 
soon disturbed by the troubles of the times, and he entered the printing office 
of Isaiah Thomas, where he was occupied during two years. ^ The passion 
for books and the strong love of literature, were manifested amid the employ- 
ments of the press, by the devotion of leisure hours to the acquisition of the 
elementary branches of English, and the rudiments of Latin. In 1778, he 
was placed as pupil under the charge of the Rev. Joseph Pope of Spencer. 
The spring of 1779 found him in the quarters of the Continental Army, posted 
to watch the British forces on Rhode Island, gaining the manly accomplish- 
ments a camp affords, and enjoying the frank courtesies of military life. When 
the regiment of Col. Bigelow marched South, he returned to his home, and 
pursued his studies for two years under the kind superintendence of Benja- 
min Lincoln, son of the revolutionary general, then student at law ; and when 
this gentleman left Worcester, they were continued, under the direction of 
another law student, of great eminence in after life, the late Hon. Samuel 

iWillard's Address, 88. 
2 Hon. Benjamin Russell, long editor of the Columbian Centinel, and Senator and Coun- 
cillor of Massachusetts, was apprentice of Mr. Thomas, while Mr. Bigelow was in the 
printing office. Warm friendship arose, and was cherished, between these gentlemen, 
until the death of the latter. 


Dexter, who accompanied his scholar, and presented him. for admission at the 
University, in 1782. In college, Mr. Bigelow took prominent rank in a dis- 
tinguished class/ excelling in the exact sciences, and particularly in mathe- 
matics. Leaving Cambridge he adopted the profession of the law, and en- 
tered the office of Levi Lincoln, sen. When the insurrection broke out, in 
1787, he joined the army and aided in sustaining the government against the 
wild designs of its internal enemies. When a company of colonists was 
formed by Gen. Rufus Putnam, from the inhabitants of Worcester and Essex, 
for the first settlement of Ohio, he entered into the plan of emigration, but 
was reluctantly induced to relinquish the execution by domestic considerations. 
Admitted to the bar in 1789, he commenced in Groton, Mass. the practise of 
a profession, whose duties and labors were sustained, for more than thirty 
years, by a constitution never robust, against the pressure of bodily infirmity. 
In 1806, he removed to Medford, and while resident there had an office in 
Boston. His business was widely extended. Attending the Courts of Mid- 
dlesex and Worcester, and those of Hillsborough and Merrimack, N. H., he 
became one of the prominent counsellors at the bar of Suffolk, and, in the 
latter years of his life, was retained in many of the important causes in Essex 
and Norfolk. Among able competitors and eloquent advocates, the broad 
range and multiplicity of his engagements are indications of standing not to 
be mistaken. A fluent speaker, well versed in his profession, enjoying the 
reputation of a good general scholar, he possessed the nobler merit of high 
moral and religious principles. 

Mr. Bigelow early entered the Legislature of the Commonwealth. From 
1792 to May, 1797, he was representative from Groton : during the four suc- 
ceeding years. Senator: in 1802, Councillor: in 1804, he was again elected 
representative : for eighteen ensuing years was returned member of the house ; 
in 1805, he was chosen its speaker; and in 1808 and 1809, and subsequently, 
from 1812 to 1819 inclusive, presided over this branch of the legislative de- 
partment with signal ability and popularity. Entering warmly into the po- 
litics of the times, and entertaining the views of the opponents of the policy 
and measures of the General Administration, he was a prominent member of 
the Federal party; and in December 1814, as delegate from Massachusetts, 
attended the Hartford Convention, with his colleagues, Hon. George Cabot, 
Hon. Harrison G. Otis, and Hon. William Prescott, of Boston.^ In 1820 he 
was at the Council board ; but, before the term had expired, he had ceased 
from earthly cares and laid down the burden of mortality. He died at Med- 
ford, May 18, 1821, aged 54 years. 

Endowed with ready apprehension, of active and inquisitive mind, gathering 
knowledge with remarkable facility, exact method and system enabled him, 
under the pressure of a load of labors, to compass a vast amount of reading. 

1 Among his classmates, were the late lamented Chief Justice Parker, Christopher G. 
Champlin, U. S. Senator from Rhode Island, Thomas W. Thompson, U. S. Senator from 
New Hampshire, Alden Bradford. Secretary of Massachusetts, John Lowell of Roxbury, 
and William Harris, President of Columbia College. With such competitors, excellence 
was high merit. 

2 Of this famous political assembly, Hon. Daniel Waldo of Worcester, was a member. 


Exploring almost every branch of liberal science, he was peculiarly conversant 
with Theology. Resting on scripture truth as the basis of faith and the guide 
of practise, the better to resolve the dubious texts of the Bible, in his latter 
years, he added to familiar acquaintance with Greek, sufficient proficiency in 
Hebrew, to enable him to read the Old and New Testaments in their original 
languages. With rare colloquial talents, he freely poured forth the stores of 
diversified information, and the treasures of retentive memory, enlivened by 
illustrative anecdote, and a vein of sparkling humor. He was a member of 
the American Academy, and Vice President of the American Antiquarian So- 
ciety.^ He was active in establishing and conducting the association of the 
' Middlesex Husbandmen.' Taste for Horticulture, led him to execute a sys- 
tematic plan of ornamental gardening around his home, which his liberal spirit 
made the seat of hospitality, and where were exercised the social and domestic 
virtues, rendering his private life as excellent, as his public course was emi- 

Thomas Chandler, H. U. 1787, son of the third Hon. John Chandler, 
born Jan. 11, 1768, was merchant, and died here. 

Gardner L. Chandler, H. U. 1787, son of Col. Gardner Chandler, born 
Nov. 29, 1768, studied law with Levi Lincoln, sen. and discovered distin- 
guished talent and capacity for a profession, which he soon abandoned and de- 
voted himself to merchandise, in Boston. 

Joseph Allen, H. U. 1792. See Lawyers. 

William Dix, H. U. 1792, son of Dr. Elijah Dix, born July 25, 1772, 
studied medicine with Dr. Waterhouse in Cambridge, and took his medical 
degree in 1795, when he delivered an inaugural dissertation on dropsy, which 
was printed. He died at the Island of Dominica, in the West Indies, April 
4, 1799. 

Elijah Dix Green, B. U. 1793, son of the second Dr. Green, born July 
4, 1769, was physician in Charleston, S. C. where he died, Sept. 21, 1795. 

' While Free Masonry was in its palmy state in New England, Mr. Bigelow presided, 
for two triennial terms, over the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, and, in that capacity, 
with a splendid, cortege of craftsmen, in 1808, made a journey to Portland, to instal the 
officers of the Grand Lodge of Maine. 

2 Hon. Timothy Bigelow married, Sept. 1791, Lucy, daughter of Judge Oliver Prescott 
of Groton, one of the founders of the American Academy and of the Mass. Medical Society. 
His children were : 1. Katherine, m. Hon. Abbott Lawrence of Boston. 2. Andrew, settled 
in the ministry, first in Medford, afterwards over the first Congregational Church, in 
Taunton. 3. John Prescott, Secretary of the Commonwealth. 4. Edward, residing at 
Medford : 5. Helen : G. Francis, merchant in Boston. 7. Elizabeth Prescott, living at 

The publications of Hon. Timothy Bigelow, were : 1. Oration before the Phi Beta Kappa 
July 21, 1796, at Cambridge : 2. Funeral Oration on Hon. Samuel Dana, April 4, 1798, at 
Amherst, N. H.: 3. Eulogy on Washington, Feb. 11, 1800, at Boston: 4. Address before 
the Washington Benevolent Society, April 30, 1814, at Boston. 

The materials for this sketch have been derived from a Memoir, kindly furnished by 
the Rev. Andrew Bigelow. Could the pen of that ripe scholar and elegant writer have 
been borrowed, ample justice might have been rendered to the worth of his father. In 
the Centinel of May 19, 1821, is a tribute to the memory of Mr. Bigelow, traced by his 
early associate, Maj. Russell, with the glowing pen of friendship. 


Samuel Brown, H. U. 1793, born Dec. 9. 1768, was son of Luke Brown, 
commenced the study of physic with the elder John Green, which was com- 
pleted with Dr. John Jeffries, to whose daughter he was united in marriage, 
and established himself in Boston. An inaugural dissertation on the bilious 
malignant fever, July 10, 1797, of extraordinary merit, gave him, at once, dis- 
tinguished reputation, well sustained by rare skill and science. As a testi- 
monial of approbation of the high merit of his essay, a silver plate was 
bestowed by the Massachusetts Medical Society, of which he was a member. 
A disease of the knee so impaired his constitution, that he submitted to the 
amputation of the limb. The result did not restore health. He died, at Bol- 
ton, Aug. 4, 1800, while on a visit to his mother, who had married William 
Osborne, an innkeeper of that town.-^ 

Asa McFakland, D. C. 1793, son of James McFarland, was born April 
19, 1769. He was tutor in Dartmouth College two years ; and appointed 
Trustee of that institution; which office he resigned in 1821. He was or- 
dained minister of Concord, N. H. March 7, 1798, officiated twenty-seven 
years, and died, Feb. 18, 1827. He was President of the N. H. Domestic 
Missionary Society, and connected with many other charitable associations. 
The Doctorate of Divinity was conferred upon him by Yale College, under 
the presidency of the venerable Dr. Dwight, in 1809.^ 

John Curtis Chamberlain, H. U. 1793, son of John Chamberlain, born 
June 5, 1773, read law with Hon. Benjamin West of Charlestown, N. H. 
was admitted to practise in 1796, opened an office in Alstead, and held promi- 
nent place at the bar of Cheshire county. He was representative in Congress 
from 1809 to 1811. In 1826, he removed to the Western part of the state 
of New-York, and died at Utica, Nov. 15, 1834, at the age of 62. 

Luke Brown, H. U. 1794, son of Luke Brown, jun. born Nov. 29, 1772, 
read law and entered into its practise in Hardwick, Mass. where he married a 
daughter of Gen. Jonathan Warner, and for a time pursued the profession 
with indifferent success, but he soon abandoned his office. 

Henry Vassall Chamberlain, son of John Chamberlain, born Jan. 11, 
1777, entered Harvard College in 1794. He withdrew from the University, 
studied law with Hon. Nathaniel Paine, and with his brother, John C. Cham- 

1 Luke Brown, grandfather of Dr. Samuel, removed from Sudbury about 1750, opened, 
and long kept, a public Louse, north of Lincoln square, near the site of the ancient jail, 
and acquired wealth by speculation in wild lands. "While on a journey to New York, un- 
dertaken for negociating the purchase of a township in Vermont, now Newfane, he con- 
tracted the small pox, and died soon after his return, April 14, 1772, aged oS. He was 
succeeded in the business of innkeeper, by his son Luke, who died Nov. 6, 1776, aged 31, 
leaving four sons, Luke, Arad, John, and Samuel. 

2 The ancestor of this family here was Daniel McFarland, who emigrated from Ulster, 
in Ireland in 1718. His son Andrew, grandfiither of Asa, left three sons; William and 
James, both dying at AYorcester ; and Daniel, who removed to Pennsylvania, about the 
commencement of the revolution, and settled on the Monongahela, where his descendants 
remain. Duncan, brother of the first Daniel, planted in Rutland. By his last will, Aug. 
14, 1746, he devised 'to Daniel, my well beloved son, whom 1 likewise constitute, make, 
and ordain my sole executor, the one half of all my lands that 1 enjoy at present, on the 
strict condition that he will never marry Betty Harper.' 


berlain, was admitted in 1801 at the bar of Cheshire, N. H. practised in Farm- 
ington, Me. a few years ; about 1810, removed to the South, and has resided 
for twenty years in Mobile, Ala. where he has acquired wealth and reputation. 
He has there held the offices of Port Warden, Alderman, Sheriff of the County 
of Mobile, Judge of the Orphan's Court, and Chief Justice of the Court of 
Common Pleas. ^ 

William E. Green, B. U. 1798. See Lawyers. 

Moses Miller, B. U. 1800, son of Moses Miller, who married Sarah Gray, 
born Nov. 23, 1776: was fitted for college, principally in the town school, 
under the instruction of Mr. Andrew Morton, He was tutor in Brown Uni- 
versity three years, while acquiring theological education, and was ordained 
minister of Heath, Mass. Dec. 26, 1804, Avhere he has since remained the sole 
pastor of the Congregational Society.^ 

Tyler Bigelow, H. U. 1801, son of David Bigelow, studied law with 
Hon. Timothy Bigelow, in Gioton, opened an office in Leominister, and re- 
moved to Watertown, Oct. 4, 1804, where he has since resided, having re- 
ceived ample share of the confidence of clients and the emoluments of the 

Levi Li^^coln, H. U. 1802. See Lawyers. 

Daniel Waldo Lincoln, H. U. 1803, son of Levi Lincoln, sen. born 
March 2, 1784, read law with his father, established himself in Portland, Me. 
was appointed by Gov. Sullivan, County Attorney of Cumberland ; was in 
practise in Boston from April 1810, to July 1813 ; resumed business in Port- 
land ; and died April 17, 1815, at the age of 31 years. An Oration delivered 
at Worcester, July 4, 1805, and one before the Bunker Hill Association, July 
4, 1810, are the only printed memorials of the splendid genius he possessed. 

Levi Chamberlain, son of John Chamberlain, entered Williams College 
in 1804, but after two years, took up his connections with that institution, 
and became student at law, first in the office of his brother John, and after- 
wards in that of Levi Lincoln; came to the bar in Worcester, Dec. 1813; 
practised in Fitzwilliam and Keene, N. H. : was Clerk of the Courts and 
County Attorney of Cheshire : and from 1821 to 1833, member of the Legis- 
lature of New Hampshire, as representative and senator. 

1 His only child, Henry Chamberlain, a lawyer of good standing, has been member of 
the legislature of Alabama. 

2 The Rev. Mr. Miller married Bethiah, daughter of Dr. Samuel Ware, of Conway, and 
has had nine children, of whom six are living. The oldest son was member of Amherst 
College in Sept. 1836. His grandfather Moses, was for many years, deacon of the old 
South Church in Worcester, held many civil offices in the town during the revolution, was 
a man of firm patriotism, unusual soundness of judgment, strict integrity, and liberal be- 
nevolence. His great grandfather, was a soldier of Capt. Church in the Indian wars, was 
wounded severely, and carried a musket ball, received in fight, to his grave, 

8 The ancestors of this family of Bigelow, came to Worcester from Watertown. David 
Bigelow, father of Tyler, an ardent whig, was member of the revolutionary committees, 
and delegate to each of the Conventions, at Concord, Cambridge, Boston, and within the 
county, in which the town was represented, from 1774 to 1789. In the convention of 1787, 
to consider the Federal Constitution, he voted with the minority, from jealousy of dele- 
gated power. He died May, 1810, aged 80. 


John Green, B. U, 1804. See Physicians. 

Frederick W. Paine, [H. U. 1819, A. M.] son of Dr. William Paine, 
entered Harvard College in 1803, but soon left the Uniyersity for commerce. 
He was representative in 1829 ; chairman of the Board of Selectmen in 1831, 
and President of the Worcester County Mutual Insurance Company from 

John Nelson, W. C. 1807, son of Deac. John Nelson, born in Hopkinton, 
Mass. became resident here at an early age. He studied with Rev. Dr. Austin, 
and was settled in Leicester, March 4, 1812.'^ 

Alexander Reed, D. C. 1808, son of Deac. Ebenezer Reed, born at Mil- 
ford, Mass. July 10, 1786, became an inhabitant of Worcester with his father, 
(who died here May 21, 1823, aged 82,) in 1794. Under the tuition of the 
celebrated Dr. Nathan Smith, he studied medicine, received medical diploma in 
1811, and has since practised in New Bedford, Mass. The degree of Doctor of 
Medicine was conferred by Yale College, in 1816. Dr. Reed has been, for 
several years, the oldest councillor of the Mass. Medical Society for the Bristol 
county district. 

Gardner Burbank, B. U. 1809, a native of that part of Sutton, now Mil- 
bury, was son of Elijah Burbank, who came to Worcester about 1798; he 
studied law with Hon. Francis Blake ; was admitted to the bar ; but im- 
mediately engaged in the manufacture of paper, and in 1835, removed to 
Sharon, Vt. 

Thomas Gardner Mower, H. U. 1810, son of Thomas Mower, studied 
medicine with Dr. Thomas Babbet of Brookfield ; received the degree of M. 
D. from the University of New York ; entered the army as surgeon in 1813 ; 
served in the camp>aigns on the Canadian frontier during the war with Eng- 
land ; and has since resided in the city of New York. 

Benjamin Franklin Heywood, D. C. 1812. See Physicians. 

John Brazer, H. U. 1813, son of Samuel Brazer, succeeded Gov. Edward 
Everett as Latin Tutor in Harvard University, in 1815 ; was Professor of the 
Latin language in that institution, from 1817 to 1820; and was ordained 
Pastor of the North Church in Salem, Nov. 14, 1820; he was elected Fel- 
low of the American Academy in 1823: one of the Overseers of Harvard 
University in 1829 ; and received the degree of Doctor of Divinity from that 
college in 1836. 

Daniel Knight, B. U. 1813, son of Edward Knight, studied law with 
Levi Lincoln, practised in Spencer, and afterwards in Leicester, where he 
died, Aug. 16, 1826. 

George Allen, Y. C. 1813, son of Hon. Joseph Allen, studied theology 
with Rev. Dr. Andrew Yates, Professor in Union College, and was ordained 
minister of Shrewsbury, Nov. 19, 1823. 

Henry Elijah Dix, H. U. 1813, son of Dr. Elijah Dix, born Feb. 6, 
1793, studied medicine with Dr. John Warren of Boston, entered the United 
States Navy, and died in the Hospital at Norfolk, Va. Jan. 21, 1822. 

Austin Denny, Y. C. 1814. See Lawyers. 

1 Of this gentleman a notice was inserted in the note to page 163. 


Stephen Salisbury, H. U. 1817, son of Stephen Salisbury, studied law 
with Samuel M. Burnside, Esq. and was admitted to the bar, but did not 
enter into the practise of the profession. 

Francis Arthur Blake, H. U. 1814, son of Hon. Francis Blake, born 
in Rutland, April 4, 1794, but early resident here, adopted the profession and 
entered the office of his father. Admitted to the bar 1 8 1 7, he settled in Cincin- 
nati, Ohio, removed to the city of New York in 1823, where he died March 
22, 1824, immediately after a favorable exhibition of talent as counsel in the 
trial of a capital case. 

George Bancroft, H. U. 1817, son of Rev. Dr. Aaron Bancroft, visited 
Europe in the autumn of 1818 ; was two years in the University of Gottingen 
in Germany, where he was admitted Doctor of Philosophy ; spent 15 or 18 
months in a tour on the continent ; was tutor in Harvard College from 1822 
to 1823 ; afterwards opened a high school at Northampton: and has resided 
for some years past in Springfield. In 1834, he published the first volume 
of the History of the United States ; and has been greatly distinguished as a 
fine scholar and elegant writer. 

Baxter Perry, H. U. 1817, son of Deac. Moses Perry; born April 16, 
1792 : studied theology in the Andover Seminary; settled in the ministry at 
Lyme, N. H. ; where he died, Jan. 18, 1830. 

Robert Treat Paine Fiske, H. U. 1818, son of Dr. Oliver Fiske, is now 
practising physician in Hingham, Mass. 

William Lincoln, H. U. 1822. See Lawyers. 

Clark Perry, H. U. 1823, son of Deac. Moses Perry, studied theology 
at Andover, and was ordained at Newbury, Mass. Oct. 1828. 

David Perry, D. C. 1824, son of Deac. Moses Perry, of the Andover 
Theological seminary, was settled as clergyman, in Cambridgeport, in 1829. 

Isaiah Thomas, H. U. 1825, son of Isaiah Thomas, jun. has been propri- 
etor and editor of the ' American,' a newspaper in Cincinnati, Ohio, and mer- 
chant of that city ; and is now resident in New York. 

Andrew Bigelow, son of Walter Bigelow, entered Harvard College in 

1825, but was compelled to leave his class by ill health. He became assist- 
ant instructor at Garrison Forest Academy, and died at . . orcester, April 1 , 

1826, aged 24. 

Benjamin F. Thomas, B. U. 1830. See Lawyers. 

William S. Lincoln, B. C. 1830, son of Levi Lincoln, read law with Re- 
joice Newton and William Lincoln, was admitted Attorney in 1833, and has 
since been in the profession in Millbury, Mass. 

Daniel Waldo Lincoln, H. U. 1831. See Lawyers. 

Harrison Gray Otis Blake, H. U. 1835, son of Hon. Francis Blake, is 
student of theology in the Divinity School at Cambridge. 

Henry Bigeloav, H. U. 1836, son of Lewis Bigelow, is student of med- 

John Healy Heywood, H. U. 1836, son of Levi Heywood, is engaged in 



Henry Smith, B. U. 1836, was licensed to preach, and is minister of tte 
Baptist persuasion.^ 

distinguished citizens. 

John Chandler. The ancestor of that branch of the Chandler family 
furnishing so many men of distinction in the ante-revolutionary history of the 
county, was William Chandler, admitted freeman in 1640, who died at Box- 
bury, June 19, 1641. His son John, inherited the patrimonial estate, and 
resided in that town until 1686, when, with a company of neighbors, he emi- 
grated, and founded a plantation at Woodstock, which was included in the 
government of Massachusetts, until its inhabitants revolted to Connecticut in 
1748, depriving our Commonwealth in after time, by their rebellion, of juris- 
diction over a fair territory, and of citizens, except for this disloyal act, of 
most excellent character. He was deacon of the first church gathered there. 

John Chandler, son of Deacon John Chandler and Elizabeth Douglas 
his wife, the first known in any public capacity in our annals, was born in 
Woodstock. He possessed strong natural powers, and with slight advanta- 
ges of education, rose to distinction in the civil, military, and judicial depart- 
ments of government. On the erection of the County of Worcester, he was 
appointed first Judge of Probate, first Justice of the Courts of Common Pleas 
and General Sessions, and Colonel of the regiment of militia ; offices, which 
he retained till his death, in 1743. He was Representative in the General 
Court from Woodstock , where he resided, and member of his Majesty's Council. 

John Chandler, named on our records the Jirst, son of John Chandler 
and Mary Raymond of New London, Conn, his wife, born at Woodstock, 
Oct. 10, 1693, removed to Worcester in 1731, and was Clerk of the Judicial 
Courts from that date to 1754; Register of Probate to 1754; Register of 
Deeds to 1762 ; Sherifi" from 1751 to 1762 ; Selectman from 1732 to 1736 
and from 1741 to 1754 : and Representative from 1735 to 1740. On the de- 

1 The following young men from Worcester, are under graduates of the several CoUegeSi 
September, 1836. 

In Harvard University ; John Weiss, son of John Weiss ; Senior : Pliny Earle Chase, son 
of Anthony Chase : Samuel Jennison, son of Samuel Jennison ; John Waldo Lincoln, sou of 
Levi Lincoln ; Levi incoln Newton, son of Rejoice Newton; Sophomores: John Chandler 
Bancroft Davis, son of John Davis ; Benjamin Heywood, son of Dr. Benjamin F. Heywood ; 

In Yale College. Edwin Osgood Garter, son of Elias Carter; of the Junior class. 

In Amherst College. Samuel Austin Taylor, son of Samuel Taylor : Nahum Gale, son of 
Nahum Gale ; Seniors : Horace T. Blake, son of Jason Blake : Thomas Allen Gale, son of 
Nahum Gale ; Juniors : Charles Gleason, son of Jonathan Gleason ; Sophomore : Sumner 
Clark, son of Isaac Clark, Samuel Ingersol Goddard, son of Parley Goddard ; Harrison Otis 
Howland, son of Southworth Rowland: Freshmen. 

In WrsTERx Reserve College : Elias E. Carter, son of Elias Carter, Freshman. 

Among the names of those registered on the Records of Harvard University as of Wor- 
cester, are Josiah Salisbury, 1798 : James Putnam, 1808: Charles S. Putnam, 1814, and 
Francis E. Putnam, 1815: They were not natives of the town, nor long resident here. 
Among others from Worcester, who entered that College, but soon withdrew to other pur- 
suits, or by reason of ill health, not noticed in the text, are these : John Patch, 1791 : 
Joseph Dix, 1794 : Nathaniel A. Paine, 1809: William J. Seaver, 1810: Gardner Paine, 
1816; George Lincoln, 1832 : and James F. Gleason, who died, Aug. 17, 1834. 

Woi-'cester. Mass. 17134. 



cease of iiia fatlipr. be succeeded to the higher offices of Judge, Colonel, and 
Cow ather brilliant an . 

opular, he posse?-^ 
; hilarity, and e:. 
i!\'e, he kept open table, on com 

brought to his tribunal by concetiif ■ -i-ic-,,. 


IB, son of the last mentioned John and of Ht .er, 

langhter of John Gardner, Lord of the Isle of \. „. .. the 

; New Yolk,' born Feb. 26, 1720, as he succeeded to the milit.ry, 

cil., and some of the judicial offices of his father, inherited the charac- 

t raits of his ancestry " ' ■--•;! -n temperament, engaging in 

. hospitable as a cU ^» a n^^ighbor, industrious 

(iprising as a mercir Leaving 

.ountry at tb '^8^ P08- 

>e.*.ion3 to a cLr d to the 

British Commissi 

J and infliieiit '3 troops before some British of- 

ficers who had visitc ' Woaated to his guests of tluf " 

alty among his men, -, , expected would sustain h 

gumptions of power ;: -»nd intelligent yeomanry, knowing their 

rights and willing to 

When the volunteti . .-. . minute men was raised, Hubbard wu'- 

d Lieutenant, and actively participated in the evening drills, after the Ubors 
lay were over, and in the preparations made by the busy industry of 
, tial spirit of the times, for immediate action, 
alter this gallant corps marched to Cambridge, he was appointed Cap- 
'A"'>on the expedition through the Kenn check wilderness, against ') : 
ianned, volunteers were enlisted from the army at large. '1 ii' 
rvice, or the destination of the troop*, was known only to the su- 

and, at 



cease of his father, he succeeded to the higher offices of Judge, Colonel, and 
Councillor. His talents were rather brilliant and showy than solid or pro- 
found. With manners highly popular, he possessed cheerful and joyous dis- 
position, indulging in jest and hilarity, and exercised liberal hospitality. 
While Judge of Probate, he kept open table, on court days, for the widows 
and o phans who were brought to his tribunal by concerns of business. He 
died at Worcester in 1763. 

John Chandler, son of the last mentioned John and of Hannah Gardner, 
described as ' daughter of John Gardner, Lord of the Isle of Wight, in the 
Province of New York,' born Feb. 26, 1720, as he succeeded to the militiry, 
municipal, and some of the judicial offices of his father, inherited the charac- 
teristic traits of his ancestors. He was cheerful in temperament, engaging in 
manner, hospitable as a citizen, friendly and kind as a neighbor, industrious 
and enterprising as a merchant, and successful as a man of business. Leaving 
the country at the commencement of the revolution, he sacrificed large pos- 
sessions to a chivalrous sense of loyalty. In the schedule exhibited to the 
British Commissioners appointed to adjust the compensation to the Ameri- 
cans, who adhered to the royal government, the amount of his real and per- 
sonal estate which was confiscated, is estimated at £11,067, and the losses, of 
the income of offices, from the destruction of business, and by other causes, at 
nearly £6,000 more. So just and moderate was this computation ascertained 
to be, at a time when extravagant claims were presented by others, that he 
was denominated in England, 'the honest refugee.' He died in London in 
the autumn of 1780. 

Captain Jonas Hubbard. The son of an early settler, he was born in 
Worcester. Previous to the revolution, he was engaged in the cultivation of 
his patrimonial estate, and in the management of extensive concerns of busi- 
ness. The first sounds of coming war found him an Ensign in one of the 
three militia companies of the town. A few months before hostilities com- 
menced. Captain Rufus Chandler, a decided royalist, afterwards a refugee, 
and an active and influential man, paraded his troops before some British of- 
ficers who had visited him from Boston, and boasted to his guests of that loy- 
alty among his men, which the king vainly expected Avould sustain his as- 
sumptions of power amidst a bold and intelligent yeomanry, knowing their 
rights and willing to defend them. 

When the volunteer company of minute men was raised, Hubbard was elect- 
ed Lieutenant, and actively participated in the evening drills, after the labors 
of the day were over, and in the preparations made by the busy industry of 
the martial spirit of the times, for immediate action. 

Soon after this gallant corps marched to Cambridge, he was appointed Cap- 
tain. When the expedition through the Kennebeck wilderness, against Que- 
bec, was planned, volunteers were enlisted from the army at large. The ob- 
ject of the service, or the destination of the troops, was known only to the su- 
perior officers. It was understood that it would be attended with danger, la- 
bor, and sufi"ering. Hubbard, brave and energetic, did not shrink from peril 
or hardship in the cause to which he had devoted himself, and, at his own re- 


commanded by Major Bigelow.^ In the attack on Quebec, during the night 
of the 31st of December, in the assault on the fortress, exposed to a shower 
of balls from the barriers and ramparts, he was made prisoner, and remained 
in captivity until the summer of 1776. An exchange having been negotiated, 
he returned, and was soon after called into service with the rank of Lieuten- 
ant Colonel. The commission of Colonel was received Feb. 8, 1777, and he 
was appointed to the command of the 15th Regiment of the Massachusetts 
line in the Continental Army, then forming, principally of the men of Wor- 
cester county. Remaining in Worcester, until the ranks were filled and the 
new troops drilled, he marched to join the Northern Army under Gen. Gates, 
and arrived on the scene of action in season to assist in the capture of Bur- 
goyne. With his regiment, we afterwards trace him, at Saratoga, in Rhode 
Island, at Verplank's Point, Robinson's Farms, N. J. Peekskill, Valley Forge, 
and West Point. A braver band never took the field or mustered to battle. 
High character for intrepidity and discipline, early acquired, was maintained 
unsullied to the close of their service. 

After the army was disbanded. Col. Bigelow was stationed for a time at 
West Point, and afterwards assigned to the command of the national arsenal 
at Springfield. When he left military life, it was with the reputation of a 
meritorious officer, but with straightened purse. The pay of the soldiers of 
freedom had been irregularly advanced, in depreciated currency,^ and large 
arrears were withheld. With a frame physically impaired by long hardship, 
toil and exposure, with blighted worldly prospects, with the remains of pri- 
vate property, considerable at the outset, but seriously diminished by the many 
sacrifices of his martial career, he returned to his home. With resolute spirit 
he set to work to repair his shattered fortunes, and resumed the old occupa- 
tions of the forge and work shop. But times had changed since the fires of 
the furnace had been last kindled. If the products of his skill Avere in as 
quick demand as in former days, responsible customers were diminished. 

1 During a day's halt of the troops, on this memorable march, Major Bigelow ascended a 
steep and rugged height, about 40 miles northwestward from Norridgewock, in Somerset 
County, Maine, for the purpose of observation. This eminence still bears the name of 
Mount Bigelow. 

A faithful and most interesting narrative of the campaign against Quebec, was publish- 
ed by .John Joseph Henry, a soldier in the expedition, afterwards President of the Second 
Judicial District of Pennsylvania: the journal of Major Return J. Meigs is printed in 2 
Mass. Hist. Coll. ii. 227 : some original letters of Arnold, are inserted in the Maine His- 
torical Soriety's Collections, i. 341. From these sources may be derived full detail of the 
memorable expedition. 

^ The following extracts of a letter from Mrs. Bigelow to her husband, Feb. 26, 1780, 
show the depreciated state of the currency. 

• On account of the heavy fall of snow, there is not a possibility of getting wood from 
the farm at present, no one who does not live on the great road can bring any with a sled. 
The common price is fifty dolla7-s, smd it has been sold for fifty six dollars the load.' 
' The money you sent me was very acceptable, for I was in debt for Andrew's pair of shoes, 
forty dollars ; and also for mending in the family, which made the account almost seventy 
dollars. I paid the servant, fifty eight dollars for what money he had expended on the road 
[in a journey of about 60 miles.] A bushel of malt now sells for thirty dollars, and a pound 
of hops for six dollars. 


Hard money had ceased to circulate ; credit existed only in name ; and pub- 
lic confidence was destroyed. Change too had come over the war-worn vete- 
ran himself. The stirring occupations of the field, the habits formed by eight 
years of active service, the tastes acquired by residence in the camp, and ac- 
tion in the exciting events of the revolution, and disuse of old avocations, had 
produced inaptitude for a course of business so long discontinued. Still, he 
bore up against circumstances of discouragement, and contrived to maintain 
his family in comfort and in respectable position. With others, he obtained 
a grant of a township of land in Vermont, containing 23040 acres, Oct. 21, 
1780, upon which he founded a town and bestowed the name of Montpelier, 
now the capital of the State, A severe domestic affliction, in 1787, the loss 
of his second son, Andrew, who fell a victim to rapid consumption, uniting 
with other disappointments, depressed his energy, and cast over his mind a 
gloom presaging the approaching night of premature old age. He died March 
31, 1790, in the 51st year of his age.-^ 

Col. Bigelow was of fine personal appearance. His figure was tall and 
commanding. In stature he was more than six feet in height. His bearing 
was erect and martial, and his step was said to have been one of the most 
graceful of the army. With taste for military life, he was deeply skilled in 
the science of war, and the troops under his command and instruction, exhib- 
ited the highest condition of discipline. He possessed vigorous intellect, 
ardent temperament, and a warm and generous heart. 

CoL. Ephraim Doo little. Although Worcester was not the place of 
the birth or decease of this gentleman, his long residence here entitles us to 

1 Col. Bigelow married Anna Andrews, a young orphan laJy of Worcester, born April 
11, 1747, and at the time of her marriage, .July 7, 1762, heiress of a fortune considerable 
in those days. The union was a love match, and was contracted at Hampton, N. H. the 
Gretna Green of the Old Bay State. She died at Groton, July, 1809. She was the only 
child of a connection formed under somewhat romantic circumstances. Her father, Sam- 
uel Andrews, at a late period of youth, having titted himself for college, and passed the 
customary examination, was admitted to Harvard University. Returning to visit his 
friends, before commencing his classes, he saw and became enamored of Anna, youngest 
daughter of James Rankin and Rachel Irving, his wife, emigrants from Ireland with the 
Scotch Presbyterians of 171S. His suit, prosecuted with ardor and assiduity, was success- 
ful, and the bridal was soon solemnized. Abandoning the plan of obtaining a liberal edu- 
cation, he purchased and cultivated a small farm on the western shore of Quinsigamond. 
Diligence, prudence, and sobriety, brought the reward of prosperity. He removed to the 
village, errected a house on the site of the jail, lately pulled down, established a tannery 
north of the bridge on Lincoln square, and in 1749, built the old Bigelow mansion, opposite 
to the Court House, on the spot where the large brick dwellings of Stephen Salisbury, Esq. 
now stand, where he died. On his decease, the estate descended to hLs only daughter 

Col. Bigelow had six children, 1. Nancy : born Jan. 2, 17G.5, married Hon. Abraham 
Lincoln, long Selectman and Representative of the town, and Member of the Council at the 
time of his death, July 2, 1824. 2. Timothy : b. April 30, 1767, (See page 223.) 3. Andrew, 
b. March 30, 1769, d. Nov. 1787. 4. Lucy : b. May 13, 1774 : m. Hon. Luther Lawrence, 
formerly of Groton, now of Lowell. 5. Rufus : b. July 7, 1772 : lie was merchant in Balti- 
more, and died unmarried in that city, Dec. 21, 1813. 6. Clara : b. Dec. 29, 1781, m. Tyler 
Bigelow, Esq. of Watcrtown. 

The materials for this sketch have been derived from an excellent memoir of Col. Bige- 
low, kindly communicated by the Rev. Andrew Bigelow of Taunton. 


claim him among our citizens. From 1760 to 1772, he was an inhabitant, 
and during that period was engaged in business as a merchant. In 1763, 
he was selectman : in 1766, representative. Taking active part in the polit- 
ical transactions of the times, he was placed on important municipal commit- 
tees. From the commencement of the difficulties preceding the revolution, 
he was a decided and ardent whig. In 1772, he removed to Petersham ; in 
December of that year, he reported a spirited answer to the circular from 
Boston, distributed through the country. In 1773, he was selectman, and 
representative in the General Court. The year following, he was delegate 
to the Provincial Congress convened at Concord. He was elected captain of 
a company of militia by the town, in the autumn of 1774, and soon after was 
colonel of the regiment of minute men in the county. The troops under his 
command marched on the 19th of April, Avere mustered into service, and 
stationed in Cambridge. On the organization of the army, he retained his 
rank in the Massachusetts line. His regiment was engaged in the battle of 
the 17th of June. Col. Doolittle being confined to his bed by an accidental 
injury, they were led by Major Moore of Paxton, who found a soldier's hon- 
orable grave on Bunker Hill. 

For many years he was chairman of the committee of correspondence of 
Petersham: in 1778, of the committee reporting against the form of consti- 
tution proposed by the general court, and almost unanimously rejected by the 
people: in 1779, delegate in the convention at Cambridge, to frame a new 
constitution. He participated in almost every act of a public character in 
Worcester and Petersham, during his residence in either town. 

Soon after the close of the war, he removed to Shoreham in Vermont, 
where he remained until the period of his decease, in 1802, at an advanced 
old age. 

He was more distinguished for sound judgment and accuracy, than bril- 
liancy or extent of talent ; for the scrupulous practise of common virtues, 
rather than the exercise of extraordinary powers. 

A curious implement was invented by him, to supply the deficiency of 
muskets in the armament of his regiment. "When the long shaft, of heavy 
material, was held levelled towards an advancing enemy, two stout blades, 
eight inches long, united to a strong head, projected forward like the prongs 
of the hay fork : two other blades of equal length extended laterally, and 
another was turned downwards, to give a descending blow. Five little 
swords, whetted on both edges, were thus provided, to attack an assailant on 
any exposed point. The handle was lined, for two or three feet from the end, 
with sharp steel plates set in the wood to defend it from sabre cuts, and to 
lacerate the hand which should grasp the weapon to wrest it from the owner. 
The lower extremity terminated in a rounded iron point, to be fixed in or 
against rampart or masonry. The formidable instrument of warfare, after 
short trial, was laid aside. 

Hon. David Thomas, About 1718, David Thomas, an emigrant from 
Wales, arrived in Worcester, purchased, cleared, and afterwards cultivated, a 
tract of woodland on the summit of Tatnuck hill,in the western part of the town, 


where he lived to a good old age. Land and name were inherited by his son 
David, born in 1740, who bestowed the latter on his son, David, the subject 
of this notice, born in Worcester, June 11, 1762. From the early age at 
which the children of New England begin their lessons of industry until fif- 
teen, he labored on the farm, attending in winter the common school of the 
district. In 1777, he served as a volunteer, with the troops raised for the 
relief of Rhode Island ; at one time for the term of three months ; at another 
for two. Soon after, he was bound apprentice to the shoemaker's trade. In 
1781 the town was required to furnish twenty nine soldiers for the army of 
the revolution, and the inhabitants were divided into the same number of 
classes, each to furnish, pay, and maintain one man during three years. Mr. 
Thomas entered into an agreement with Capt. Palmer Gouldmg, with whom 
he lived, and who was head of a class, to cancel the indentures, and enlisted 
in the service as a soldier for that class. He joined the fifth Massachusetts 
Regiment, under Col. Rufus Putnam, at West Point, and was appointed to be 
corporal : on the preliminary articles of peace being signed, he was transferred 
to the third regiment of the state line, and promoted to be serjeant. When 
the army was disbanded, he returned to Worcester. His residence in his na- 
tive place was short. In the spring of 1784, he emigrated to Salem, in 
Washington county. New York, and engaged in agriculture, as a day laborer. 
Industry, frugality, and capacity, earned their just rewards. He was enabled 
to become the owner of the farm upon which he had hired. Military offices 
were showered fast upon him. He rose, step by step, through the gradations 
of captain, major, colonel, and brigadier, to the rank of Major General of a 
division of militia. Civil honors flowed scarcely less rapidly. He was mag- 
istrate, county judge, and representative in *he state legislature many years. 
In 1800, he was elected representative in Congress, when New York was en- 
titled to ten members only, from a district composed of the counties of Wash- 
ington, Saratoga, Warren, Essex, Clinton, and Franklin. This ofiice he held 
until 1808, when he was appointed Treasurer of the State of New York, and, 
ex-oflicio. Commissioner of the Land Office, and trustee of Union College. 
To discharge these duties, it became necessary for him to remove to the city 
of Albany. There he resided until 1813, when he resigned all public trusts, 
in consequence of domestic troubles. After his retirement to private life, he 
removed to Providence, where he remained till his decease, in 1834, at the 
age of 72. 

Hon. Benjamin Hetwood was son of Phinehas Heywood, a respectable 
farmer of Shrewsbury. At the common age, he was bound apprentice to a 
housewright. Having completed the term prescribed by his indentures, he 
began business as carpenter, and worked at that trade one or two years. 
Love of letters, and confidence of capacity for usefulness, induced him to 
throw aside the hammer and chisel, and devote himself assiduously to prepa- 
rations for collegiate education. He entered Harvard College in 1771. 
There is cotemporary evidence of his sobriety of conduct, diligent application, 
and proficiency in mathematical science. 

The martial spirit pervading the country, penetrated even the seats of learn'ng. 


The young men of the institution formed a military company, under the des- 
ignation of the Marti-mercurian Band, a name descriptive of the union of the 
soldier and scholar in its ranks. Mr. Heywood Avas ensign of this corps, on 
the nineteenth of April, 1775, and, with some of his comrades, participated 
in the perils of that memorable day. Amid the tumult of arms, the quiet 
pursuits of literature were suspended ; the students were dismissed, and the 
halls occupied by troops. The senior class, of which Mr. Heywood was 
member, did not again return to the seminary, although their degrees were 
conferred in course. 

Mr. Heywood immediately entered the service of his country, and received 
the commision of Lieutenant, in May, 1775. In 1776, he was promoted to 
the rank of Captain, which he retained through the whole war. His habits 
of order and accuracy qualified him for the office of paymaster, to which he 
was soon appointed and attached to Col. Nixon's regiment.-^ He was at the 
capture of Burgoyne, partook of the sufferings, and shared in the victories of 
the army, during the long period of its service. When the soldiers were 
about to be disbanded, a dangerous state of feeling arose. The tedious post- 
ponement of payments meritoriously earned, the pressure of want, and the 
anticipation of future poverty, excited discontents, artfully fomented by in- 
flammatory publications. Gen. Washington, apprehensive of serious violence 
from exasperated troops, feeling the injustice of the country and conscious of 
the power of numbers, discipline and arms, to avenge, if not redress, the real 
or supposed wrongs, convened an assembly of the officers, addressed them on 
the disastrous consequences of the course to which they had been directed, 
and left them to their deliberations. Gen. Knox, Col. Brooks, and Capt. 
Heywood were appointed a committee, to consider and recommend proper 
measures to be adopted in the impending crisis. By their prudence and ener- 
gy, the rising disorders were quieted. 

Another proof of the confidence of his companions in arms in the honor 
and capacity of Capt. Heywood, was his election on a committee to adjust the 
accounts of the officers and soldiers of Ihe Massachusetts line. He was as- 
sociated with Major Fernald, Capt. Hull, and Capt Learned. The duty of 
the committee led to long negociation with the Legislature of the state, resul- 
ted in provision for equitable settlement, and was concluded by voluminous 
reports prepared by Capt. Heywood. 

When the army was disbanded, he was retained, for some months, in the 
office of the General Superintendent, and afforded valuable aid in arranging 
the complicated concerns of the department charged with the settlement of 
the affairs of the war. 

After the restoration of peace, he returned to his home, and married an 
adopted daughter of Mr. Nathaniel Moore, an early settler and respectable 
farmer of Worcester. Activity of disposition, and facility in business, ena- 
bled him, in addition to the management of a farm, to devote much time to 
the concerns of his neighbors, and to public affairs. The reliance on his in- 

1 The entire series of rolls and accounls of his office, preserved in the Am. Ant. Society's 
Collections, afford proof of his fidelity in this trust. 


tegrity and good judgment, was testified by frequent selection as arbitrator, 
executor, and guardian. In 1802, he was appointed Judge of the Court of 
Common Pleas, and held that office until Sept. 1811, when, by a new arrange- 
ment of the judicial system, the seats of all the judges of that tribunal were 
vacated. For many years he was an acting magistrate of the county, and 
member of the Board of Trustees of Leicester Academy. He was twice cho- 
sen an elector of President and Vice President of the United States. By the 
General Court, he was appointed Trustee of the Hassanamisset Indians : and 
was an officer of many charitable and religious associations. 

He died Dec. 6, 1816, aged 71, leaving the reputation of unstained integ- 
rity and extensive usefulness.^ 

Hox. Joseph Allen, a native of Boston, was born Sept. 2, 1749.^ At- 
tending through the regular term of seven years, from the age of seven to that 
of fourteen, on the Grammar School, he was a favorite pupil of the celebrated 
master Lovell. About 1770, after regular mercantile apprenticeship, he en- 
tered into business in Leicester. A firm whig, he was active in the prelimin- 
ary movements of the revolution, and with Col. William Henshaw, Col. Thom- 
as Denny, and other patriotic citizens of the place of his residence, drafted, 
circulated, and supported, the spirited resolutions, memorials, and addresses 
of the citizens in their primary meetings, and conventions.' Soon after the 
change of the government, he was appointed, in 1776, to succeed Levi Lincoln, 
sen. as Clerk of the Courts, and removed to Worcester. The duties of this 
office he discharged for thirty three years with singular accuracy and fidelity. It 
Avas relinquished in 1810, against the wishes of the judicial officers. He oc- 
casionally accepted those public honors conferred as testimonials of esteem 
and confidence. On the death of Mr. Upham, he was chosen Representative 
to the 11th Congress, and at the expiration of the term declined reelection. 
From 1815 to 1818, he was of the Executive Council: and twice of the Col- 
lege of Electors of President. One of the founders and patrons of Leicester 
Academy, he was long Treasurer of the corporation, and was first President 
of the Worcester County Bible Society. ' His mind and manners,' writes one 
of the best of our portrait painters of character, ' were alike formed on the 
best models ; in addition to his classical attainments, he was distinguished for 

1 These facts have been derived from the venerable Dr. Bancroft, to whom the men of 
Worcester have been indebted for many an obituary memorial of their fathers. The no- 
tices of our distinguished citizens from his pen, have been remarkable for felicitous ex- 
pression, fidelity, accurate discrimination, and all the excellences of biography. 

Benjamin Heywood married Mehitable Goddard, d. of Elisha Goddard of Sutton. Their 
children were, 1. Mehitable : 2. Nathaniel Moore, merchant, b. July 17S8 : m. Caroline 
Sumner of Boston, Sept. 16,1816; died at Richmond, Va. : 3. Elizabeth: 4. Benjamin 
Franklin, physician in Worcester ; m, Nancy Green, d. of Doct. John Green of Worcester : 
6. Joseph: 6. Lucy: b. April, 1793; d. Nov. 1795: 7. Nancy ; b. Feb. 7, 1798; d. Aug. 
30, 181-t. 

2 His father, James Allen, a merchant of Boston, married the sister of Samuel Adams. 

3 A little circumstance, illustrative of the influence of the unsettled condition of the 
times on the relations of private life, is related. At one time, Mr. Allen bad his knapsack 
packed with the soldi-^r's blanket, and his trunk with his nuptial suit, uncertain whether he 
should be earliest called to the bridal or the battle. 


that politeness and gracefulness of deportment, whicli was, in some degree, 
peculiar to the men of his generation. Through his whole course, strict in- 
tegrity,^ unblemished honor, and undisguised detestation of whatever was base 
and unworthy, were predominant traits in his character. A native generosity 
of disposition prompted him to deeds of beneficence. He was familiar with 
the best English writers, and had stored his mind with their beauties, which 
his refined and discriminating taste taught him to appreciate with singular ac- 
curacy and apply with the happiest effect.' He died Sept. 2, 1827, aged 78. 
Isaiah Thomas,^ a native of Boston, was the descendant of ancestors of 
good repute, emigrating from England, soon ofter the foundation of the town, 
and engaging in mercantile business. His father, Moses Thomas,^ soldier, 
mariner, trader, and farmer, at diflferent periods, after sharing and escaping 
the perils of the unfortunate expedition against Cuba, in 1740, when pesti- 
lence destroyed most of the provincial forces spared by the sword, lived a few 
years on Long Island. Revisiting his early home, reverses of fortune wasted 
his share of a good inheritance. Driven abroad, he died in North Carolina, 
about 1752, leaving a widow in destitute condition, with five small children. 
The energy and fertility of invention, so often manifested by females in simi- 
lar circumstances, soon provided resources for the support of her family. The 

1 The following example may serve as an illustration of his honorable sense of integrity, 
more scrupulous than is usually found among men In the negociation of business, Mr. 
Allen had become indebted to John Smith, 2d Lieutenant of Capt. Bigelow's company of 
Minute men. The account was deliberately adjusted, the balance carefully ascertained to 
tfee mutual satisfaction of both parties, payment made, and full and ample discharges giv- 
en. Some years after, when Smith was passing through town, he was met by Mr. Allen, 
who informed him that he had then recently discovered an error in the settlement favora- 
ble to himself, which he desired to correct by a further payment. The creditor, declaring 
his entire satisfaction with the former computation, and his conviction that no mistake 
could have occurred, declined an examination. With reluctance he was induced to review 
the accounts, and on revision, still expressed content. Mr. Allen then explained to him, 
by reference to the scale of depreciation, that he had received a less amount than he was 
entitled to have, and delivered to him the sum of money, which he long refused to believe 
he had lost on the original liquidation. 

2 In the History of Printing, i. 368, is a narrative of the life of Mr. Thomas from his 
own pen. In the Massachusetts Spy, April 13, 1831, are published portions of an address 
containing beautiful delineation of his character, delivered by Isaac Goodwin, Esq. before 
the American Antiquarian Society, and transferred to the 2d volume of their Transactions. 
The first writer was under the restraints imposed on the autobiographer ; the last, felt 
those resting on the public speaker. Neither space nor ability permit the attempt here, 
to do justice to the services of one of our most eminent citizens. The duty of raising 
worthy memorial, remains for more fortunate hands. The materials of the notice of Mr. 
Thomas in these pages, are taken from the memoirs before mentioned. The few facts 
which have been added, are stated on the authority of his personal relation, were obtained 
from the diaries of interleaved almanacs, or are derived from official papers. 

^ The earliest of the name, mentioned by John Farmer, the most faithful and accurate 
of the antiquarians of the age, in his Register of the First Settlers, is Evan Thomas, vin- 
ter, of Boston, admitted freeman in 1641, who died Aug. 25, 1661. George Thomas, and 
Rebecca his wife, had three sons: 1. Peter, b. Feb. 6, 1682; 2. George, b. March 16, 
1685, 3. Maveric, b. March 19, 1694. Peter, the eldest, was a merchant in Boston, and 
acquired good estate ; his children were ; George, Peter, Elias, Moses, mentioned in the 
text, Mary, Mercy, Elizabeth, and William, who lived to mature years. 




profits of a little shop, added to the other gains of industry and ingenuity, 
and the savings of frugal thrift, afforded comparative comfort and indepen- 
dence. She was, at length, able to purchase a small estate in Cambridge, af- 
terwards lost, on sale, by the depreciation of the continental currency.^ 

The youngest son, Isaiah, was born Jan. 19, 1749 ; at the age of less than 
six years, he was bound apprentice to Zechariah Fowle, a printer of single 
sheets, small tracts, and pamphlets, described in the History of Printing, as 
honest, but eccentric, irritable, effeminate, and better skilled in domestic cares 
than the mysteries of the printing house. It reflects no credit on the sense or 
taste of the master, that the first essay of his almost infant workman, who re- 
quired the elevation of a high bench to reach the case, should have been di- 
rected to the composition of a licentious ballad.^ The pupil, deprived of the 
usual advantages of schools and of good instruction in the art, was compelled 
to rely on his own resources to supply the deficiencies of education. Earnest 
desire of improvement found or made the way. A tattered dictionary and ink 
stained bible were the whole library of the ofR.ce. Two or three books, pur- 
chased with the savings of trifling perquisites, and a few more borrowed from 
friends, were added to this slender collection of literature. Diligent study 
and persevering assiduity, enabled him, unassisted, to possess himself of the 
elementary branches of learning, and to acquire such facility of expression as 
to be able to put his thoughts in type without the aid of writing, and the ex- 
pertness in printing which made him principal manager of a business exten- 
ded under his supervision. After eleven years of apprenticeship and employ- 
ment with Fowle, Mr. Thomas went to Nova Scotia and entered the office of 
Anthony Henry, proprietor of the Halifax Gazette, the government paper, a 
good-humored and indolent man. The willing assistant was allowed to as- 
sume the management. Although Henry's labors were diminished, his re- 
sponsibilities directly increased. It was the period of the Stamp Act, and 
the Boston boy brought with him the spirit kindled in his birth place. The 
appearance of an article in opposition to the obnoxious measure Avhich roused 
the colonies to resistance, was followed by citation before the authorities, and 
Henry escaped punishment, only on the ground that the paragraph had been 
inserted by his journeyman without his knowledge. On the repetition of the 
ofience, the young man himself was called before the Secretary of the Province, 
and received reprimand, admonition, and threats, alike ineffectual. Not long 
after this interview, the whole year's stock of paper arrived from England, 
stamped according to the act : by night, the brand of oppression was cut off 
from the sheets : the effigy of the commissioner appointed to collect the im- 
post, was found suspended from the gallows. The very correct opinion pre- 
vailed, that Mr. Thomas was principal in these and other acts of defiance of 
government. The sheriff, sent for the purpose of intimidating the young 

1 She married a person named Blackman, and died Jan. 17, 1798, aged 73 years. 

'^ The composing stick first used by Mr. Thomas, an impression of ' The Lawyer's Pedi- 
gree,' and the very press upon which it was worked, which afterwards sent out the glow- 
ing words of the patriots of the Revolution, were given to the Antiquarian Society by its 
founder, and have been scrupulously preserved, in accordance with his wishes. 


printer by threats, or extorting confessions, was met with so much firmness 
and intrepidity, that the fruitless mission was abandoned.^ 

In March, 1767, Mr. Thomas went from Nova Scotia to Portsmouth in 
New Hampshire, and four months afterwards, returned to the employment of 
Fowle in Boston. Active and enterprising spirit led him to accept the 
invitation of a shipmaster to try the fortune of a voyage to Wilmington in 
North Carolina. Negotiations for an establishment there were frustrated, 
and he embarked for the West Indies, intending to seek passage thence to 
London. Again his expectations were defeated, and he repaired to Charles- 
ton in South Carolina. After a residence of two years, with impaired health, 
he retraced his steps, and came again to the home of his fathers. Entering 
into partnership with Zachariah Fowle, they published a little newspaper, 
discontinued in December of the same year. The connection was of brief du- 
ration. It was dissolved in three months, and Mr. Thomas, having purchased 
the printing apparatus, issued another paper, bearing the name of its pre- 
decessor, ' The Massachusetts Spy,' March 7, 1771. The early professions of 
neutrality in the great contest then impending, could not long be maintained 
against the decided inclination of the conductor to the popular cause, and the 
print soon became the leading advocate of whig principles. Managed with 
great ability, in some departments, by Mr. Thomas himself, the strongest of 
the patriot writers gave the power of their pens to its support, and the Spy 
became the favorite channel for the diffusion of high-toned sentiment. Its 
influence was felt and feared by the royalists, and they endeavored to avert 
the danger of a free press. Overtures to the editor, with promises of honors, 
office, patronage and reward, on espousing the cause of government, were 
rejected, and threats of vengeance for resistance, disregarded. A man too 
independent to be bought by gain or controlled by power, must be crushed. 
The debt contracted for the purchase of the establishment was suddenly and 
sternly demanded : the aid of friends discharged the sum and defeated the 
attempt to ruin by pecuniary pressure. The publication of a bold essay, 
written by Joseph Greenleaf, with the signature of Mucins Scsevola, afforded 
pretext for fresh persecution. Mr. Thomas was summoned to appear before 
the Governor and Council. Obedience to the executive mandate, three times 
repeated, was as often fearlessly refused. Hutchinson was too good lawyer 
to issue process for compulsion, where no authority existed for its execution. 
The punishment of the offender, was entrusted to the judicial arm, and the 

1 The Philadelphia Journal arrived, dressed with mourning pages ; decorated •with 
death's heads, crossed bones, and other emblems of mortality ; and announcing its own 
decease, by a complaint called the Stamp Act. To imitate this patriotic typography re- 
quired no little boldness. It was done by Mr. Thomas, with equal courage and adroitness. 
The columns of the Halifax Gazette were surrounded with heavy black lines ; the titlewas 
surmounted by the skull ; a death's head placed as substitute for stamp ; and a large fig- 
ure of a coffin laid at the end of the last page ; accompanied by the following notice : ' We 
are desired, by a number of our readers, to give a description of the extraordinary ap- 
pearance of the Pennsylvania Journal of the 30th of October [1765.] We can in no better 
way comply with this request, than by the exemplification we have given of that Journal 
in this day's Gazette.' 


Attorney General directed to institute prosecution for libel. Indictment and in- 
formation, though pushed forward by the united efforts of the officers of the 
crown, alike failed. The Spy held on its way, vindicating the liberty of the 
press and of the citizen, against ministerial usurpation. Renewed attempts at 
coercion, only served to call forth testimonials of the ardent interest felt by the 
leading men of the time for the welfare of the establishment, and pledges of pro- 
tection and defence.^ Such course, rendered Mr. Thomas obnoxious to the ad- 
ministration. His name was placed on the list of the suspected : his printing 
house received the honorary appellation of ' sedition factory,' and threats of 
personal violence were frequent in the mouths of the soldiery. Having been 
solicited by the whigs of Worcester, to establish a newspaper, he made con- 
tracts and sent out proposals for subscriptions in February, 1775 ; and with 
the assistance of Col. Bigelow, under the care of Gen. Warren, he privately 
conveyed a press and cases of types, over the river to Charlestown, thence 
transported to this town, a short time previous to the Lexington Fight. The 
movements of the British troops for an expedition into the country, being dis- 
covered, Mr. Thomas was active in spreading the alarm, and at day break of 
the memorable 19th of April, joined the militia in arms against the ' regulars.' 
Laying aside the musket after the fight, to put in action a more powerful en- 
gine of freedom, and journeying almost all the next night, he reached Wor_ 
cester the following day. The first printing done in any inland town of New 
England, was performed in Worcester. The Spy reappeared, after a sus- 
pension of three weeks, May 3, 1775, and was distributed by posts and mes- 
sengers. The publications of the Provincial Congress were executed here, 
until presses were put in operation in Cambridge and Concord, the places of 
its session. 

Although the acquisitions of five years toil had been abandoned to be plun- 
dered, with the exception of the little remnant saved by the fortunate arrange- 
ments of early removal, the better capital of industry, capacity, and enterprise, 
was undiminished, and was brought into full exertion. He was appointed 
Postmaster, by Benjamin Franklin, Sept. 25, 1775, and the commission was 
renewed for triennial terms, by Ebenezer Hazard, Samuel Osgood, Timothy 
Pickering, and Joseph Habersham, the heads of the department in succeeding 
years. In 1776, having leased his property to Messrs. Bigelow and Stearns, 
and afterwards to Anthony Haswell, he went to Salem. While on a visit 
here, the declaration of independence was received, and first read to the citi- 
zens, by Mr. Thomas, July 14, 1776, from the porch of the Old South 
Church. Returning for permanent residence, in 1778, he resumed the man- 
agement of the Spy.^ At that period, trade was disordered ; in the fluctuat- 
ing currency, the representative paper had no constituent specie ; manufac- 
tures were in infancy ; materials were deficient ; difficulties sprang up on all 
sides ; and the print was only sustained through the war, by the unyielding 
resolution of the proprietor. The restoration of peace opened the channels 

1 It is stated by Mr. Goodwin, that the celebrated James Otis, ' then withdrawn from 
active life in consequence of the malady which prostrated the energies of his mighty 
mind,' proffered his professional services to Mr. Thomas. 

2 ' In the indulgence of a peculiar poetical fancy, his papers were generally ornamented 


of commerce ; new types and apparatus were obtained, and his business ex- 
panded itself on a great scale. Uniting the employments of printer, publisher, 
and bookseller, establishing the first bindery and building the second paper 
mill in the county, the relations of a business which may well be called vast, as 
they extended to almost every part of the union, were conducted with that 
systematic and methodical arrangement which gave successful action to the 
complex machinery. At one period, under his own personal direction and 
that of his partners, sixteen presses were in constant motion, seven of them 
working here ; three weekly newspapers and one monthly magazine, issued : 
and five bookstores in Massachusetts, one in New Hampshire, one in New 
York, and one in Maryland, almost supplied the literary sustenance of the com- 
munity. One of the most liberal publishers of the age, he produced and dis- 
tributed works, whose titles formed a voluminous annual catalogue. The 
great folio edition of the bible in 1791, illustrated with the copperplates of 
native artists, was unrivalled, at the period, for neatness, accuracy, and 
general elegance and excellence of execution ; the whole types for smaller 
copies of the Holy Scriptures were kept standing and often used. 

Previous to the revolution, Mr. Thomas commenced the Essex Gazette, at 
Newburyport, in 1773 ; in January of the next year, he began the Royal 
American Magazine, the last of the periodicals of Boston under the provincial 
governors. After the war, in 1793, he founded the Farmer's Museum, enliv- 
ened with the spirit of Prentiss, Dennie, Fessenden, and the coterie of wits 
gathered at Walpole, N. H, ; established the Farmer's Journal in Brookfield, 
Mass. in 1799; in connection with Ebenezer T. Andrews, junior partner of 
a house existing thirty one years, he printed the Massachusetts Magazine, in 
Boston, from 1783 to 1795. The Spy was suspended, in consequence of the 
resemblance of an Excise Act to the Stamp duty, for two years. The Wor- 
cester Magazine, in 1787 and 1788, supplied the place of that paper. Mr. 
Thomas was partner of Dr. Joseph Trumbull, in the business of druggist in 
this town for some time after Aug. 31, 1780. 

In 1802, Mr. Thomas relinquished a prosperous business at Worcester, to 
his son Isaiah, and retired from the pressing cares of wide concerns to the 
enjoyment of fortune honorably won and liberally used. 

The evening twilight of a day of intense activity was not given to the repose 
of idleness. Enjoying personal acquaintance with some of the early con- 
ductors of the press in this country, familiar by their narrations with their 
predecessors, himself a prominent actor through an important period, greater 
advantages could not have been desired for the undertaking, on which he en- 
tered, of compiling the annals of American typography. ' The History of 
Printing,' published in 1810, in two octavo volumes, bears internal evidence, 

•with curiously significant devices and appropriate mottoes. In 1774, they bore a dragon 
and a snake, the former representing Great Britain, and the serpent this country. The 
latter was separated into ])■■ rts to represent the different colonies. The head and tail 
were furnished with stings for defence against the dragon, which was placed in the posture 
of making attack. The device extended the whole width of the paper, with the motto 
over the serpent, in large capitals, Join or die,' Goodwin's Memoir in Mass. Spy, April 
13, 1831. 


in the fulness and fidelity of its narrative, that neither toil, research, nor 
money was spared for its preparation. Containing notices of the antiquities 
and progress of the art, the biography of printers and newspapers, the work 
received the approbation of criticism, and the rank of standard authority. 
While this good enterprise advanced, Mr. Thomas had gathered rare treas- 
ures of literature and rich relics of the past. Collected, they were of inesti- 
mable value : each fragment, if dispersed, would have been desirable, but less 
precious than if fixed in its place, as a connecting link of the chain of events. 
With an elevated benevolence, contemplating in expanded view all the good 
the present may bestow on the future, he associated others with himself, and 
became the founder of the American Antiquarian Society. The gift of his 
great collections and library, the donation of land, and of a spacious edifice, 
an unceasing flow of bounty in continuous succession of benefactions, and 
ample bequests for the perpetuation and extension of the benefits he designed 
to confer on the public and posterity, are enduring testimonial of enlightened 
liberality. The institution will remain, an imperishable monument to his 
memory, when the very materials of the hall reared by his generosity shall 
have crumbled. 

While his private charity relieved the distresses, his public munificence 
promoted the improvements of the town. The site of the County Court 
House was bestowed by him ; and the building and avenues on the front 
constructed under his uncompensated direction. No inconsiderable share 
of the cost of enlarging the square at the north end of Main Street, and 
erecting the stone bridge, was given by him. The street bearing his own. 
name, and the spot where the brick school house has been built, were his bene- 
faction to the municipal corporation. In the location and execution of the 
Boston and Worcester Turnpike, an enterprise of much utility at the period, 
he assisted by personal exertion and pecuniary contribution, and few local 
works for the common good were accomplished without the aid of his purse 
or efforts. 

In 1814, he received the honorary degree of Master of Arts from Dartmouth 
College : that of Doctor of Laws was conferred by Alleghany College in 1818. 
He was member of the Historical Societies of Massachusetts and New York, 
and of numerous Philosophical, Humane, Charitable, and Typographic asso- 
ciations. The appointment of Justice of the Court of Sessions was made by 
Gov. Gerry, Feb. 21, 1812 : the office Avas held until June 7, 1814, when it 
was resigned. He was President of the Antiquarian Society from its founda- 
tion to his decease, April 4, 1831, at the age of 82 years. 

While the institution of Freemasonry was prosperous. Dr. Thomas attained 
its highest honors and degrees, and was long presiding officer of the Grand 
Lodge and Chapter of Massachusetts. He attended and bore part in most 
of the consecrations, installations, and high festivals of the association in the 
state, during his active years. 

The incidents of the life of Dr. Thomas have occupied broad space in these 
poor annals. His memory will be kept green when the recollection of our 
other eminent citizens shall have faded in oblivion. His reputation in future 


time will rest, as a patriot, on the manly independence which gave, through 
the initiatory stages and progress of the revolution, the strong influence of 
the press he directed to the cause of freedom, when royal flattery and favor 
would have seduced, and the power of government subdued its action ; as an 
antiquarian, on the minuteness and fidelity of research in the History of Print- 
ing ; as a philanthropist, on the foundation and support of a great national 
society, whose usefulness, with the blessing of Providence, will increase 
through distant centuries.^ 

There have resided in Worcester, eighteen settled Clergymen : two Bar- 
risters : sixty-four Counsellors and Attorneys at Law : and thirty-one Phy- 
sicians. Fifty-nine of the natives of the town have received education in 
the colleges. Of those born here, fifteen Physicians, twelve Lawyers, and ten 
Clergymen, have gone out to other places of settlement and professional em- 

Worcester has furnished good proportion of those who have held civil and 
judicial offices. 

Of the natives or citizens of the town, previous to the war of independence, 
were : one Attorney General of the Province : three members of His Ma- 
jesty's Council : one Mandamus Councillor : three Judges of the Court of 
Common Pleas : two Judges of Probate ; three Clerks of the Courts : four 
Treasurers and four Sheriffs of the County : one Judge of the Supreme Court 
of New Brunswick : one Councillor, and one Clerk of the Assembly of that 

Since the Revolution there have been : two Governors of Massachusetts 
and one Governor of Maine : two Lieutenant Governors : two Speakers of 

1 Moses Thomas, father of Dr. Isaiah Thomas, married Fidelity Grant of Rhode Island : 
Their children were. 1, Elizabeth, born on Long Island, who married and went to tho 
West Indies: 2. Peter, who resided at Hampstead, L. I. 3. Joshua, b. at Boston, March 

3, 1745 ; m. Mary Twing of Brighton, and resided in Lancaster : 4. Susannah, married 
four times: last to Capt. Hugh McCullough, of Philadelphia: surviving him, she died 
Feb. 28, 1S15, a. 69 : 6. Isaiah, b. Jan. 19, 1749. 

Dr. Isaiah Thomas, married Mary, d. of Joseph Dill, of the Isle of Bermuda, Dec. 25, 
1769 : Their children were, Mary Anne, b. March 27, 1772 : was three times married ; 
last to Dr. Levi Simmons: 2. Isaiah, b. at Boston, Sept. 5, 1773 ; m. Mary d. of Edward 
Weld of Boston ; he was educated as a printer, and succeeded his father in business ; he 
removed to Boston, where he died June 25, 1819. His children were : 1. Mary Rebecca, 
m. Pliny Merrick, Esq. of Worcester : 2. Frances Church, b. Aug. 12, 1800; m. William 
A. Crocker of Taunton. 3. Augusta Weld, b. Aug. 1, 1801 ; d. Aug. 19, 1822, at Taunton ; 

4. Caroline, b. Sept. 26, 1802 ; m. to Samuel L. Crocker of Taunton. 5. Hannah Weld, 
m. June 14, 1825, to Samuel L. Crocker of Taunton ; d. November 22, 1827 ; 6. Isaiah, b. 
Dec. 11,1804; d. Oct. 14, 1805: 7. Isaiah, merchant in New York; 8. William, merchant 
in Boston : 9. Edward Weld, b. Feb. 1.5, 1810 ; d. Oct. 5, 1810 ; 10. Edward Isaiah, mer- 
chant in New York: 11. Benjamin Franklin, lawyer in Worcester. 

Dr. Thomas was married a second time to Mrs. Mary Fowle, d. of William Ihomas of 
Boston, b. June 9, 1751 ; d. Nov. 16, 1818, aged 67 : and again married, Aug. 10, 1819, to 
Miss Rebecca Armstrong of Roxbury. 


the House of Representatives : six Councillors and eleven Senators of Mas- 
sachusetts : two Senators of New Hampshire : one Secretary of the Com- 
monwealth : one Treasurer of New York : one Attorney General of the 
United States : one acting Secretary of State : one Senator and eleven Rep- 
resentatives in Congress : one elected member of Congress under the Confed- 
eration : one appointed Judge of the Supreme Court of the United States, who 
declined the commission : one Judge of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts : 
three Justices of the Court of Common Pleas of this State, and one of Ala- 
bama : three Judges of Probate, and one Judge of the Orphan's Court of Ala- 
bama : two Justices of the Court of Sessions : two County Commissioners : 
eight Clerks of the Courts and eight County Attorneys : one District At- 
torney ; two Sheriffs and three Treasurers of the County ; five Justices 
throughout the Commonweath ; thirty-eight Justices of the Quorum ; and 
eighty-one Justices of the Peace. ^ 

1 This estimate of the offices of the worthies of Worcester, accurate so far at it extends, 
is necessarily imperfect. Many emigrants from this town, who have held honorable sta- 
tions in other states, have not been included in the enumeration. 

Of those natives of the town, not educated in the colleges, who emigrated, and practised 
as Physicians, before unmentioned, were Samuel Eice of Athol, son of Samuel Rice : Wn.- 
LiAM Young of Ipswich, son of William Young ; Jacob Holmes of Leicester, son of Jacob 
Holmes ; William Baeeer of Mason, N. H. son of James Barber : and James McFaeland 
of Rutland, son of James McFarland. 




Education. Common Schools. Centre District Schoola. Private Instruction. Manual 
Labor High School. Mount St. James Seminary. 

When the original committee of settlement secured the support of the wor- 
ship of God, they made provision for the education of youth. At their first 
meeting, in 1669, when the untrodden wilderness spread over the territory of 
Worcester, it was agreed that a lot of land should be ' appropriated for the 
maintenance of a school and school master, to remain for that use for ever.' 
In the contract with Daniel Henchman, in 1684, this determination waa 
affirmed ; and it was enjoined, ' that care be taken to provide a schoolmaster 
in due season.' When surveys were made, after the permanent settlement, a 
tract of forty acres was granted for the promotion of this object. 

The circumstances of the first planters long prevented the commencement 
of public instruction. The earliest municipal action on the subject, was April 
4, 1726. In pursuance of a vote of the town, 'the selectmen agreed with 
Mr. Jonas Rice to be schoolmaster, and to teach such children and youth as 
any of the inhabitants shall send to him, to read and write, as the law 
directs,'^ until the 15th of December. On the expiration of this term, it was 
peremptorily voted ' that the town will not have a school.' The period suc- 
ceeding the commencement of the last century has been well described by one 
of the most discriminating of our local antiquarians,^ as the '■dark age ' of Mas- 
sachusetts. Every hand was busy in converting the forest into farms. A 
fluctuating currency scarcely served for the supply of the necessaries of life. 
The planters of Worcester, feeling the burden of sustaining elementary edu- 
cation without immediately realizing the resulting benefits, failed to give 
practical operation to the enlightened views of the founders. In this respect 
they could have shown the example of elder and more wealthy neighbors in 
extenuation of the negligence. Few towns about that time, escaped fine for 
contempt of wholesome laws. The grand jury admonished Worcester of its 
omissions of duty by presentment, and the sum of £2 8s. 6d. was raised in 

1 The Great and General Court of the Colony, in May 1647, stating as inducement, that, 
• It being one chief project of Satan to keep men from the knowledge of the Scriptures, as 
in former times keeping them in unknown tongues, so, in these latter times, by persuad- 
ing from the use of tongues, that so at least the true sense and meaning of the original 
might be clouded and corrupted with false glosses of deceivers : to the end that learning 
may not be buried in the graves of our forefathers, in church and commonwealth, the 
Lord assisting our endeavors,' ordered that every township within the jurisdiction, ' after 
the Lord hath increased them to the number of fifty householders,' should maintain a 
common school, and each town of one hundred families should keep a grammar school. A 
penalty for the neglect of these wholesome provisions, for quaint reasons, was established 
in 1671, increased by the statute of October, 1683. 

^ Lemuel Shattuck, Esq. in the History of Concord. 


1728, to defray the charges of a prosecution, for want of schools, suspended on 
promises of amendment. Benjamin Flagg, directly after, was employed as 
schoolmaster, and £14 granted for the annual stipend. In April, 1731, con- 
sidering ' that many small children cannot attend in the centre of the town by 
reason of the remoteness of their dwelling places, and to the intent that all 
may have the benefit of education,' districts were formed. Division lines, 
drawn from the middle of each exterior boundary, separated the town into 
north, south, east and west quarters, surrounding the central territory. The 
mild sway and cheap services of females were sought, and the selectmen in- 
structed, ' to procure a suitable number of school dames, not exceeding five, 
for the teaching of small children to read, to be placed in the several parts, 
as may be most convenient, and these gentlewomen to be paid such sum, by 
the head, as they may agree.' The terror of the law, in September following, 
produced a vote, ' to maintain a free school for a year, and to be a moving 
school into the several quarters.' In August, 1732, Mr. Richard Rogers was 
engaged as teacher, and continued in that relation about eight years. The 
instructor of those days was migratory, revolving in his circuit round a centre 
not then fixed to a particular location. Directions similar to this of 1735, 
abound : ' Voted, That Mr. Richard Rogers repair to the house of Mr. Palmer 
Goulding, there to keep school till further orders.' The inconvenience of tem- 
porary arrangements, induced the inhabitants, after long consideration and 
debate, and great doubt of the expediency of the measure, to resolve. May 15, 
1735, ' that a school house be built at the charge of the town, and placed in 
the centre of the south half, or as near as may be with conveniency, having 
regard to suitable ground for such a house to stand on, where land may be 
purchased, in case it falls on any particular property, provided the purchase 
may be made on reasonable terms.' The surveys of Col. John Chandler, 
commissioned to measure under these instructions, and afterwards employed 
with new directions to find the intersection of a central line with the country 
road, not having indicated acceptable points, after five years of deliberation, 
it was determined to ' set up ' the first school house of Worcester ' between 
the Court House and bridge, below the fulling mill.' An humble edifice was 
raised at the north end of Main street, and nearly in the middle of the present 
travelled way, 24 feet long, 16 feet wide, and with posts 7 feet high, which 
remained beyond the close of the revolutionary war. In 1740, £100 was 
granted for the support of schools, one half to be appropriated for the centre, 
and the other half divided among the quarters, ' provided the body of the 
town keep a grammar school the whole year, and save the town from pre- 
sentment, and the skirts do in the whole have twelve months schooling of a 
writing master.' 

It had been well and wisely ordered by the fathers of New England, that 
each municipal community of sufficient ability, should afford to youth the 
means of acquiring the languages. The salutary effect of this regulation was 
little appreciated, and was even regarded as oppressive, in times less enlight- 
ened than the present. In 1766, the representative was instructed to endeav- 
or, ' that the law requiring a Latin Grammar School, be repealed, and that not 


more than one such school should be kept in a county;' and, in 1767, to use 
his exertions to relieve the people from the great burden of supporting so 
many schools of this description, ' whereby they are prevented from attaining 
such degree of English learning as is necessary to retain the freedom of any 

The lower schools seem to have been sustained by liberal appropriations. 
In 1769, there were eight districts ; the apportionment of the tax of £79 17s. 
in that year throws some light on the population and resources of the divisions. 
Old Names. Sums. Old Names, Sums. 

Centre, £19 Is, Stone's, £8 5s. 

Tatnick, 10 10 Stowell's, 8 3 

Bogachoag, 8 8 Curtis's, 7 11 

Smith's, 9 8 Flagg's, 7 11 

The sums raised by taxation for schools in different years, varied with the 
fluctuations of the currency to such extent that it is difficult to estimate ac- 
curately the real amount of expenditure. In 1727, the tax was £16 10s.: 
in 1730, £25 : in 1740, £100 currency : in 1750, £46 10s. : in 1760, £75 : 
in 1780, £76 16s. : in 1770, £3000 in continental bills. 

It is not possible now to collect a perfect list of the school masters previous 
to the revolution. The figures prefixed to the names of the gentlemen men- 
tioned below, show the time when their instruction commenced. 1725, Jo- 
nas Rice. 1729, Benjamin Flagg. 1732, James Wyman, Richard Rogers. 
1733, Samuel Boutelle, Nathaniel Williams. 1738, Samuel Marsh. 1739, 
James Durant. 1744, James Varney. 1752, Henry Gardner. 1755, John 
Adams.^ 1757, John Young. . 1758, William Crawford. 1760, Micah Law- 


After the revolution, in 1785 and 1788, the town was presented by the 
grand jury for the neglect of its grammar school, and when it v/as maintained, 
it appears to have travelled around the centre, in the circle of districts, until 
1808, when it became stationary. 

In 1800, school houses were built in the several districts under the direc- 
tion of a committee. The following table shows the dimensions, position. 

and cost of each. 

Old names. 

New names. 

Feet square. 


Tatnick Quarter, 



$270 27 




270 27 




247 75 




247 75 




225 22 

risk's Corner, 



247 75 

Burntcoat Plain, 



247 75 




202 70 

Provision was made for the erection of two houses, not less than 22 feet 
square, in the centre, then containing one third of all the minors : one was 

1 Afterwards President of the United States. He was certainly employed one year, and 
probably more, while student at law with James Putnam, 


built at the corner of the old burial place, and the other opposite to the build- 
ing then the Unitarian Church, now the Franklin House. 

Prudent and able committees have been elected annually by the town, who 
have had the supervision and visitation of the common schools in the manner 
directed by the statutes. 

The following statements illustrative of the condition of the schools, and 
the expenses of education, are derived principally from the returns in the of- 
fice of the Secretary of the Commonwealth. 

Number of School Districts, 

Number of minors in all the districts, 

Males from 4 to 16 attending schools, 


Average attendance in days, 

Number attending private schools, 

Winter schools, months, 

Summer schools, months, 

Instructors, Males, 

Females, instructing, 

Wages, average by months. Winter, 

" " " Summer, 

Board per week, males. 
Amount raised for schools by tax, 
Expenses for furniture, 
Tuition in private schools, 

The monies granted by the town for the support of schools are distributed 
thus : from the whole tax is first deducted the amount assigned for the gram- 
mar school : as an equivalent for the school being kept within the centre, the 
other districts receive two hundred and fifty dollars, equally divided : the 
residue of the whole sum is then apportioned according to the minors. The 
mode of distribution will be seen from the following table : six columns, after 
the first, show the number of persons under twenty one years of age ; the six 
last the sum given to each district, in the year marked at the top of the column : 








































































152 t 




$1039 $1299 


















































































































































2108 2244 2356 2509 2666 3041 2125 2197 2195 2645 2697 304t 


The following gentlemen, among others, have been employed in instruction 
here since the revolution, most of them in the Grammar School. 

Dr. Amasa Dingley, who died in New York : Rev. Thaddeus M. Harris, 
long clergyman of Dorchester : Thomas Payson, afterwards teacher in Boston, 
and now of Peterborough, N. H. : Roger Vose, counsellor at law in Walpole, 
N. H. : Silas Paul, sometime in the practise of the law in Leominster: An- 
drew Morton, lawyer, who died at Hampden, Me. : Calvin Park, Professor in 
Brown University : Isaac Gates, afterwards of the United States army : Sam- 
uel Swan, practising law in Hubbardston : Rev. Nathan Parker, late of Ports- 
mouth, N. H. : Dr. Jacob Bigelow, physician of Boston ; Rev. John Nelson, 
of Leicester : Nathan Guilford, of Cincinnati, Ohio : Ebenezer D. Wash- 
burn, of Mobile, Alabama : Levi Heywood : Rev. Jonathan Going, now of 
the city of New York; Jonathan Smith, now of Bath, N. H. : John Reed, 
son of John Reed, of Worcester : Thomas Fiske, who died at Charleston, 
S. C. : Benson C. Baldwin, who died at Milford : Leonard Worcester, late 
teacher in Newark, N. J. : George Folsom, now of New York. 

Charles Thurber, B. U. 1827, son of Rev, Laban Thurber, born in Brook- 
field, the present master of the Latin School, was elected to that office, March 
27, 1832. The English School of the District, is under the charge of War- 
ren Lazell, son of Deacon Daniel Lazell of Mendon, who was chosen as in- 
structor, Feb. 23, 1828. Albion P. Peck, son of Dr. Gustavus D. Peck of 
Milford, was elected master of the second English School, June 22, 1835.^ 


One of the earliest steps in the progress of the improvement of education 
in the Centre District, was in 1752, when the town, by their votes, consented, 
' that the inhabitants of the centre, extending one mile and a half around the 
school house, should have allowed them their proportion of money for the 
support of schooling, provided they do, bona fide, keep a grammar school the 
whole year ; and if their proportion of money will procure a master more than 
twelve weeks, the usual time they have of late had schooling, then any per- 
son may have liberty to send children afterwards.' About this period, a 
school house, with two rooms on the floor, was erected by James Putnam, 
John Chandler, and other public spirited individuals,^ and the deficiency of 
the grants for the support of instruction Avas supplied by subscriptions. In 
1769, the town gave to the proprietors of the grammar school, £6, ' they 
engaging that the school shall be free, for all persons in the town desirious of 
learning the languages.' 

All minor objects gave way to the intense interest and exhausting necessi- 
ties of the revolutionary contest ; its stern excitement diverted attention, and 

1 The compensation paid to the instructor of the Grammar school, is $900 : of the Eng- 
lish school $700 : of the second school $400, annually : of the Apprentices school $32 month- 
ly : of the Female High school $5 50 : of the Primary, Infant, and African schools $3 60, 
by the week : the assistants are paid at the rate of $1 the week. 

2 This humble one story edifice was placed near the east side of Main street, south of 
the termination of the Boston Railroad, and surrounded with trees. During the revolu- 
tion, it was converted into a dwelling, and remained, until modern improvement swept 
away the ancient house and the venerable elms that embowered its lowly roof. 


its exigencies absorbed the whole available resources of the people : all im- 
provements were neglected ; and education sunk low amid political commo- 
tion. When peace revisited the land, an effort was made for the establish- 
ment of a system, perfected in after years, which might afford to the children 
of each citizen good and thorough education in their own homes. An asso- 
ciation was formed for erecting a school of high grade, with the real merits, 
though without the ostentatious name of academy. In 1784, Elijah Dix, Jo- 
seph Allen, Levi Lincoln, Nathan Patch, John Green, John Nazro, Palmer 
Goulding, and others, uniting in a joint stock company, procured a lease of 
the land on the west side of Main street on Avhich the Centre School House 
now stands, and that building was erected in front of the position it now oc- 
cupies. A conveyance of the lot was obtained, Sept. 29, 1787. The prop- 
erty had been divided into 100 shares, and each proprietor, by the terms of 
the deed, was to hold an amount of interest in the estate proportionate to his 
contribution for the purchase, under limitations securing the appropriation to 
the purposes of the fund. 

Two schools were opened in the new house by the proprietors ; one 
for the common elementary studies, under Mr. Brown ; the other for the high- 
est branches of academic education, called ' The Seminary,' under the tuition 
of Mr. Thomas Payson. For a time they were sustained with great spirit. 
The quarterly examinations, with the attraction of dramatic exhibitions, were 
attended by a numerous audience. In Aug. 1787, the tragedy of Cato was 
played by Mr. Brown's scholars, with brilliant success : rivalled by the pupils 
of the seminary, in October following, by the recitation of original orations, 
forensic discussions, poems, and dialogues in Greek and Latin. 

As the children of the subscribers Avere removed to the colleges, or the 
preparation for professions or active business, the warm interest of the parents 
in the institutions declined, and with it the schools gradually sunk from the 
high ground on which they had been placed. In May, 1799, the building 
was advertised for sale at public auction, and in July, 1801, purchased by the 
inhabitants of the Centre District from its owners, at the cost of $950, inclu- 
ding the expense of repairs. 

In the summer of 1823, a vigorous effort was made for the renovation of 
the decayed system. Dr. Bancroft, foremost in every good word and work, 
Jonathan Going, earnest and ardent in the promotion of improvement, Samuel 
M. Burnside, author of the school law of 1827, Levi Lincoln, Otis Corbett, 
and Samuel Jennison, were the framers of that plan, whose successful opera- 
tion has given occasion for just pride in the excellence of the schools of the 
district. These gentlemen, from a committee ' to consider the interesting 
questions regarding the good of our children in the acquisition of knowledge,' 
submitted a report, Aug. 22, 1823, published and distributed to all the fami- 
lies. They declare their opinion, that for several years, the schools had gen- 
erally fallen below the common standard, and would not bear comparison 
with many of the immediate neighborhood. The evils so long endured, they 
attributed to false economy, in the employment of ill paid and incompetent 
teachers. The remedy was suggested, in the arrangement soon after adopted, 
22* ^ 


and since continued, willi the slight modifications pointed out by experience or 
required by the alteration of social condition. It was urged on the inhabi- 
tants, ' as they regarded parental obligations, as they loved their oflf- 
spring, as they estimated their responsibility to God and their coun- 
try, to cooperate unitedly and individually in the attainment of the 
great object.' The appeal was not in vain. The recommendations were con- 
firmed, and liberal grants made for their execution. On the 31st of Dec. 

1823, the first Board of Overseers was elected. They were Aaron Bancroft, 
Jonathan Going, Aretius B. Hull, Loammi Ives Hoadley, Levi Lincoln, John 
Davis, Theophilus Wheeler, Otis Corbett, Enoch Flagg, Benjamin Chapin, 
Samuel M. Burnside, and Frederick W. Paine ; the heavy duty of carrying 
into operation the measures proposed, and sanctioned by the votes of the dis- 
trict, was devolved upon and faithfully discharged by them. The statement 
of the present condition will show the extent of their arduous and meritorious 
exertions, and the amount of resulting good. 

Resort to the contingent aid of voluntary contribution haring been found 
ineffectual and feeble, authority was obtained from the Legislature, Jan. 27, 

1824, to bring the steady support of taxation for the support of schools. An 
additional act, Feb. 1826, authorized the notification of meetings, by an adver- 
tisement, signed by a majority of the overseers, posted on the meeting houses 
seven days previous. 

A board of twelve persons, annually elected, have the duty of ascertaining 
the qualifications of teachers and the attainments of scholars ; prescribing the 
course of instruction ; establishing proper regulations ; investigating all com- 
plaints of parents, pupils, or instructors ; of the disbursement of monies ; the 
examination and supervision of the schools ; and of reporting in writing on 
the progress made during their term of oflfice. 

Ten permanent schools are arranged in regular gradation, and kept through 
the year, with such vacations only as the convenience of the teachers may re- 
quire, or the discretio:- of the board permit. 

Of the lowest grade, are the Infant Schools, first opened in 1830, receiving 
children at the earliest age at which they can derive benefit from public in- 

Next are the North and South Primary Schools, receiving their pupils by 
promotion from the infant schools. 

The pupils, when qualified, are advanced to the two Boy's English Schools, 
and to the Second Female School. 

Highest in rank, is the Female High School, corresponding with the Latin 
Grammar School, to which promotions are made from the Primary schools. 

There is an African School, for children of color, established in 1828, where 
all the useful branches of education are taught. 

A school, first opened in 1828, has since been annually kept during the 
winter months, for apprentices and clerks, and such other boys as can attend 
only through a part of the year. 

The instructors are required to keep a register, exhibiting an account of 
the conduct and proficiency of every pupil during each day. Monthly visit- 


ations are made by the overseers, and each scholar is then subjected to 
examination, and report of the result made to the board, at their stated 
meetings on the first Monday of every month. 

It was originally proposed, that all the schools subject to the visitorial di- 
rection of the overseers, should be under the superintendence of the Grammar 
master, with the view, that some competent person, professionally devoted to 
education, should bestow that constant attention on the execution of the de- 
tails of the system, which men engaged in the cares and occupations of life, 
could not give hour by hour. Dr. Bancroft, the enlighted friend of youth, 
reporting for the committee of 1823, writes, ' the whole will form but one 
school, under the general superintendence of the board of overseers, and 
children will be advanced from class to class till they reach the highest. And 
in order to give strength and unity to the system, your committee are con- 
vinced, that the grammar master ought to have the superintendence of all the 
schools in the Centre House, and that the pupils shall be classed under his 
direction in such manner as to make the most economical use of time, without 
reference to the particular school to which they belong.' Difficulties result- 
ing from the separate policy of the town and district, prevented the effect of 
an arrangement so judicious in its principle. 

The following table exhibits the condition of the schools of the district in 
the month of September, 1836. 

Schools. Teachers. ^^^^® Boys. Girls. to to to *^7?'' 

Wo. g ^Q jg 10. 

Latin Grammar, Charles Thurber, 40 40 29 11 

Female High, Eliz. B. Hamilton, 38 38 1 32 5 

Second Female, Jerusha Knight, 49 49 8 41 

Boy's English, Warren Lazell, 50 50 9 39 2 

Second Boy's, Albion P. Peck, 53 53 24 29 

North Primary, Lois W. Harrington, 63 63 40 23 

South Primary, Caroline M. Corbett, 55 55 45 10 

North Infant, Mary S. Ward, 75 39 36 33 42 

Central Infant, Abigail Pratt, 80 46 34 39 41 

South Infant, Martha S. Hamilton, 53 29 24 23 30 
New South Inft, Rebecca S. Goes, 34 16 18 8 25 1 

African, Hannah C. Perrin, 22 9 13 5 16 10 

A recommendation from Dr. Bancroft was adopted, Feb, 23, 1825, and it 
was ordered, * that at two o'clock of the afternoon of the Saturday which 
closes the scholastic year, a public address be annually delivered in one of the 
houses for public worship, by some person appointed by the board ; the 
prominent objects of which shall be, to illustrate the importance of good edu- 
cation and the best method of acquiring and extending such an education ; 
and give to the district assembled a just view of the manner in which their 
schools are and should be conducted. Let this address be followed by prayer. 
Let proper measures be taken to insure a full audience from the District, and 
let the pupils of each school be seated together, with their teacher at their 
head. Further pageantry, the committee think, would be unnecessary and 


Aaron Bancroft, 



Samuel M. Burn 




Jonathan Going, 



Isaac Goodwin, 



Alonzo Hill, 



Isaac Davis, 



useless.' The beautiful thought of its benevolent author has had that ob- 
servance which its origin deserved. Among the most interesting of festivals, 
has been the long procession of children, going up to the church, each April, 
with the plain unostentatious simplicity the founder of the ceremony designed, 
to hear the words of good counsel or admonition. 

Those named below have made addresses on these occasions. 

Alfred D. Foster, 
John S. C. Abbot, 
Frederick A. Willard, 
Stephen Salisbury, 
Ira Barton, 
William Lincoln. 

Such are the brief outlines of the plan, affording instruction from its lowest 
elements to its highest branches, beginning at the alphabet, advancing by 
regular gradations to the more elevated departments of learning, and affording 
to every citizen of the district the means of giving to his children all the edu- 
cation necessary for admission to the Universities, or desirable for the com- 
mencement of the engagements of business. 


Although munificent grants sustained the great system of the common 
schools, instruction alike of lower and higher grade than they afforded, was 
required and has been supported at private charge, or undertaken by individual 

On the last day of March, 1791, Mr. Thomas Payson advertised his inten- 
tions to open a seminary for young ladies, ' as soon as the roads were more 
settled.' His experiment was brief, and probably unsatisfactory to himself. 

Miss Hannah SpofFord commenced a school on the same plan, in May, 1804. 
Her proposals afford data for estimating the extent of female accomplishments 
deemed desirable at that period, and the cost of their attainment. Reading, 
plain sewing and marking, were taught, for the compensation of two dollars 
the quarter : embroidery, ornamental work on muslin, writing, arithmetic, 
grammar, rhetoric, ahd the art of composition, could be gained for three dol- 
lars : painting in water colors and crayon, and filagree work, were charged at 
four dollars for the same period. 

Mrs. Nugent succeeded this lady, adding in the Academy she opened in 
1805, the exercises of geography, tambour Avork, landscape painting, and 

Other instructors were here in later years. In 1823, an Academy for the 
instruction of youth in the highest branches of education, was commenced by 
the Rev. Benjamin F. Farnsworth, and continued about a year. A building 
was purchased, by an association, incorporated March 10, 1832, as the Pro- 
prietors of the Worcester Female Academy, and a school Avas kept by Mrs, 
A. M. Wells, during a year, and subsequently by Mr. John Wright. The 
corporation was afterwards dissolved, and the edifice sold. 

Instruction of the most excellent cast has been given to young ladies, by 


Dr. John Park, for twenty years a teacher of distinguished reputation in 
Boston, who removed from that city to this place, in 1831. His classes have 
been so limited, as to admit of that oral communication which best imparts 
knowledge, and of the direct influence of a gifted mind, rich in learning and 
experience, to form pure moral and strong intellectual character. 

In the spring of 1836, a school of high grade for young ladies was com- 
menced by Mr. Robert Phipps, which has been successfully continued. In 
September, the pupils were 35. 


Before 1816, beside the public religious instruction, there were recitations 
in a catechism prepared by Dr. Bancroft, after the stated lectures, by the 
children of the second parish. In May, of that year, a class of 25, soon in- 
creasing to 60, was formed by the Rev. Jonathan Going, in the Baptist so- 
ciety, and one of the first of the Sabbath Schools within the county of Wor- 
cester was established. Almost simultaneously, the system which is exerting 
a happy influence on moral condition, was adopted by the first parish, and has 
been extended to the other societies. 

The number of scholars connected with the several churches, is stated in 
the latest published reports, as follows ; 

First Parish, 300, Calvinist Society, 235, 

Second Parish, 170, Union Society, 162. 

Baptist Society, 250, 
The schools are generally under the direction of societies formed for their 
support, and are furnished with useful libraries collected by voluntary contri- 


At a meeting of a few individuals desirous of founding an institution for 
education in the interior, under the patronage of the Baptist denomination, in 
March, 1832, it was determined to raise $5000, as a foundation fund. This 
sum was obtained, by subscriptions, principally within the county, and it was 
resolved, that the school should be placed in Worcester. A committee was 
elected to eSect the design, consisting of Isaac Davis and Otis Corbett of 
Worcester, Edward Phillips of Sturbridge, and Otis Converse of Grafton. 
The details of the plan were wisely left to their discretion, under the general 
direction that the iastruction should be of the first order ; that strict moral 
and religious character should be attained ; and that every facility should be 
afibrded for productive labor, to the end that education should be good, but 
not expensive. 

Among the most influential and zealous in the formation, development, and 
execution of this project, was Isaac Davis, Esq., who has been the President, 
and one of the most devoted in personal and pecuniary exertions, to the pro- 
motion of the prosperity of the Institution. 

In November, 1832, a tract of twenty nine acres of land was purchased 
at the price of $75 the acre, and another lot of thirty one acres for 865 the 
acre, about half a mile south of the village. The academic buildings were 


erected in 1833, at the expense of about $10,000. The trustees were incor- 
porated Feb. 28, 1834, with full powers of visitation and government. 

On the dedication of the seminary, June 4, 1834, an address was delivered 
by Rev. Frederic A. Willard, and religious exercises performed by Rev. Abiel 
Fisher. The school went into operation with about 30 scholars, under the 
superintendence of Silas Bailey, B. U. 1834. The second term, Amos W. 
Stockwell, A. C. 1834, was employed as assistant, succeeded the third term 
by Mr. Rhodes B. Chapman, who resigned in the fall of 1836, and Hervey 
S. Dale, B. U. 1834, was appointed teacher. 

The institution has a library of about 500 volumes, and a philosophical 
and mathematical apparatus, was presented by Stephen Salisbury, Esq. one 
of the trustees. The studies pursued, are grammar, geography, rhetoric, 
book-keeping, arithmetic, algebra, geometry, surveying, the languages, intel- 
lectual and natural philosophy, and chemistry. The academic year is divided 
into four terms, of eleven weeks each, commencing on the first Wednesday 
in September, December, March, and June ; and each followed by two weeks 
of vacation. The charge of each term, for tuition in English studies, is $5, 
and in the languages, $7 : for rent of room and furniture, $2. Board in 
commons is furnished at the actual cost : the aggregate expenditure for pro- 
visions, servants and other necessary payments, being divided proportionably 
among the scholars. 

It was the original design, not only to afford the means of the acquisition 
of knowledge by teachers, library, and apparatus, but to furnish such employ- 
ment as would promote the health of the students, while it enabled them to 
defray some part of their expenses. During the period of agricultural opera- 
tion, this has been provided. The farm and garden are cultivated by the stu- 
dents : if the full labor of a man is performed, eight cents the hour is allowed 
for the service, and the same ratio of compensation is adopted for less work. 
A report of the principal, in the autumn of 1835, states, that many of the 
students have been enabled to pay their tuition, and some, by industry, had 
discharged the bill for board : and adds, that those who had given evidence of 
the greatest improvement, on a then recent examination, had spent a portion 
of almost every day in active labor. The want of funds has yet prevented 
the erection of buildings and accumulation of capital, necessary for establish- 
ing branches of manufactures and mechanics, affording useful occupation dur- 
ing the inclement season. 

The number of students in 1836, was 135 : among them, 18 from Worces- 
ter. The officers are : Isaac Davis, President : Otis Corbett, Secretary : Ich- 
abod Washburn, Treasurer: Silas Bailey, Principal : Hervey S. Dale, Teach- 
er: Joel Marble, Steward: Rev. Abiel Fisher, Joseph White, Rev. Otis Con- 
verse, Rev. Frederic A. Willard, Stephen Salisbury, Otis Corbett, Isaac Davis, 
Edward Phillips, Samuel D. Spurr, Pearley Goddard, Daniel Goddard, Icha- 
bod Washburn, Joseph Converse, Joshua T. Everett, Trustees. 


This institution, of very recent origin, was founded by Rev. James Fitton. 
Its buildings are situated on the northern slope of Pakachoag Hill, and are 


connected with a farm of about sixty acres of land. The government is ves- 
ted in a President, Principal and Prefects, of the Catholic denomination. 
The course of instruction comprises the branches of practical education which 
qualify youth for usefulness, in the business of life. Pupils of the age of 
eight years are admitted. From the elementary studies of reading, writing, 
and grammar, they may proceed through courses of arithmetic, book-keeping, 
geography, astronomy, history, and composition., There are two scholastic 
terms in the year ; one from September to March, the other from March to 
the middle of August : the first followed by one week, and the second by two 
weeks, of vacation. In the published statement, the expenses of support 
and tuition are estimated at eighty dollars per annum. 

The present officers are Rev. James Fitton, President, and Joseph Brigden, 


Population. Emigration. Mortality. Valuation, Taxation. Support of the Poor. Com- 
munication. Stages. Manufactures. Trade. 

PopuLATiox. Until within a few years, the inhabitants of "Worcester 
have been principally employed in agriculture, and the population has in- 
creased slowly but gradually, until the commencement of works of internal 
improvement and the establishment of manufactures, which have given great 
and rapid accessions of numbers. 

The tables below show the numbers in the different years expressed. 








Male. Fern. 

Male. Fem. 



Under 10 years, 



350 428 

337 355 



From 10 to 16, 



178 162 

186 182 



From 16 to 26, 



277 230 

262 283 



From 26 to 45, 



213 245 

242 234 



45 and upwards, 



175 170 

207 231 






1193 1235 

1234 1275 

590 15439 






Age. Male. 



Under 5 years. 



580 From 

. 40 to 50, 




From 5 to 10, 




50 to 60, 




10 to 15, 




60 to 70, 




15 to 20, 




70 to 80, 




20 to ao, 




80 to 90, 




30 to 40, 




90 to 100, 



2094 1988 4082 


The number of free blacks in 1777, were 10: in 1790, 51: in 1800, 83: 
in 1810, 88 : in 1820, 95 : in 1830, 90. 

In 1820, there are returned as engaged in commerce, 1 : agriculture, 218 : 
manufactures, 126 : foreigners, 19. 

The whole population in different years was as follows : 
Years, 1763. 1776. 1790. 1800. 1810. 1820. 1825. 1830. 1835. 1836. 

Pop. 1478 1925 2095 2411 2577 2962 3650 4172 6624 abt. 7500 

Emigkation. The enterprize of the citizens of Worcester, and the want 
of profitable employment of industry at home, has, at diff"erent periods, led 
her natives to seek fortune in regions deemed more propitious. About 1730, 
a colony of the presbyterian planters went out to Worcester in New York. 
Soon after the war of the revolution, the town of Paris, in Maine, was 
founded by Levi Hubbard, and the brothers of the Stowell family, joining 
with him, have been among the useful and honored inhabitants of that town. 
Many other of the young plantations of that state derived accessions of num- 
bers and worth from our community. Col. Josiah Brewer was the first settler 
of Cummington in Hampshire Co. Mass. Col. Timothy Bigelow, in 1780, 
became grantee of Montpelier : Col. Ephraim Doolittle, long resident here, 
commenced the cultivation of Shoreham ; and Windsor, Chester, and Wood- 
stock, all in Vermont, received additions from our citizens. Some were in 
Col. Putnam's expedition of 1787, to build cities in the then far West, and 
many went, after the war of 1812, to new lands. The county of Worcester 
has been like a hive of population, sending out swarms in all directions. 
The town has borne full share in this contribution to the good of others. 
The biographical notices of former pages show a portion of the talent thus 
bestowed. * 

MoKTALiTT. The favorable local situation of the town, the salubrity of 
the climate and healthful occupations of the people, have rendered the visita- 
tions of epidemic disease unfrequent. 

Before the small pox had been disarmed of its fearful power of destruction, 
during the period when it spread over the country, hospitals were established 
in the town, to which whole families resorted for inoculation, in preference 
to awaiting the danger of taking the disease in the natural way. This mala- 
dy prevailed generally in 1776, when the deaths here were 76. 

In 1796, the dysentery prevailed, and between July and November, 44 
children under five years, and 15 persons over that age, died here of that 
complaint. The number of deaths in that year, was 80 ; the average of five 
preceding years had been 24. 

In 1810 and in 1813, a very malignant fever raged and created great terror 
in the county. Its destroying efi"ect, though severe, was less fatal here than 
in other towns. 

The bills of mortfdity have been imperfectly kept until recently. The fol- 
lowing tables, collected with great labor, exhibit accurate results through the 
period they comprehend. 
























known Tot. 























































































































































































































































































I. Feb 

. Mar. Apr. May. June. J 





Nov. Dec 

. Total. 
























































































































































The deaths in other years, so far as the means of ascertaining the numbers 
are preserved, were: in 1775, 22 : in 1776, 76: in 1778, 39: in 1779, 21 : 
in 1780, 17: in 1781, 24: in 1782, 31 : in 1783,28: in 1784, 38: in 1791, 
22 : in 1792, 26 : in 1793, 23 : in 1794, 18 : in 1795, 33 : in 1796, 80 : in 
1797, 28 : in 1808, 39 : in 1809, 29 : in 1811, 32 : in 1812, 21 : in 1813, 
70: in 1814, 42. 

The ratio of deaths to population in 1830 was 1 in 61 : 1831, 1 in 61 : 
1832, 1 in 65 : 1833, 1 in 70 : 1834, 1 in 80 : 1835, 1 in 63. 

There have been a few instances of extraordinary longevity. John Young 
died June 30, 1730, aged 107 : Sylvia, an African female. May 22, 1804, a. 
105: Kesina Harris, Oct. 27, 1832, a. 102.^ 

Valuation. The following estimates of the principal articles of property 

1 Josiah Pierce, who died in 1806 a. 85, left 14 children, 77 grand children, and 35 great 
grand children. Kesiah Nichols died 1807, leaving 152 lineal descendants : 7 children, 52 
grand children, 86 great grand children, 7 great great grand children. Col. Benjamin 
Flagg, died Nov. 1819, aged 95, leaving 4 children, 42 grand children, 83 great grand 




are compiled from the returns of the assessors in the office of the Secretary of 
the Commonwealth. On these documents the valuation of the state in suc- 
cessive years has been founded. Although the results cannot be considered 
precisely correct, they approximate near to accuracy. 







Buildings, Barns, 





















Other Buildings, 








No. of barrels. 








Barley, bushels, 




































English, tons, 















Tillage, acres, 

















































Covered by water. 














Live Stock, Cows and steers, 





























e Polls, 








ratable polls have numbered 

as follows, in years not 


in the 



1777. 1778. 1780. 


1803. 1813. 1823. 1833. 1834, 



438 440 460 


508 599 715 1300 1312 


The aggregate value of the property of the town is inserted in a column below. 

Taxation. The following statement will furnish a comparative view of the 
sums raised for public expenses in different periods. In addition to the town 
taxes for the support of schools, large sums are assessed in the Centre District. 





















$1500 $1628 













































































In 1781, 1791, the woodland and unimproved laud are not distinguished. 


The expenditures of the town during the year ending in March, 1836, were, 
as stated in the report: for highways, $2445; repairs of bridges, $104; new 
roads, $965; schools, $3472; fire department, $800; new engine house, 
$1200 ; principal and interest of town debt, $3379 '. lighting streets, $341 ; 
poor establishment, $1404 ; poor not at the poor house, $453 ; compensation 
to assessors, $170; burials, $216; amounting with some contingent ex- 
penses, to $15,698. Of this sum, $527 has been repaid by allowance for sup- 
port of state paupers; and $341 from other towns, from individuals, or from 

Support of the Poor. In the early years of the town, the charges for 
supporting those who by infirmity or misfortune were destitute of the means 
of subsistence, were inconsiderable. There was a general equality of pecuni- 
ary condition, and that common prosperity and independence resulting from 
industry, frugality and temperance, which either prevented indigence or re- 
lieved its wants. Those who needed aid, were sustained by the charity of 
neighbors, more blessed with worldly goods, freely contributing for their com- 
fort. The first tax assessed for the support of the poor, seems to have been 
as late as 1757, when £5 4s. were appropriated for that use. In 1763, it 
was voted, ' that a suitable workhouse be built for placing therein all persons 
that are, or may be, to be supported by the town, to be under the direction of 
the selectmen.' In 1772, a building for the same purpose was erected on 
Front street, 40 by 18 feet in dimensions, at an expense of £70. Little char- 
ities were often bestowed on the meritorious, so small as to be memorials of 
the compassion, rather than the munificence of the public. In 1766, £6 were 
raised to be disposed of in transporting a sick female to Stafford, and sup- 
porting her there while using the medicinal waters of the spring, ' she being 
one of the poor of the place, and laboring under great infirmity.' In 1784, 
the selectmen were empowered ' to procure an anvil for Cato Walker, and lend 
it to him, or let him it during their pleasure.' In 1807, it was determined to 
build an Alms House of brick, but after land had been purchased for the site, 
and materials for the structure, the plan was abandoned. Until 1817, the 
poor were supported by contracts with the highest bidder at public auction, in 
the manner usual in the country towns. In that year, the Jennison farm, sit- 
uated on the great road to Boston, bordering on the upper end of Quinsiga- 
mond Pond, was purchased, with its comfortable mansion, for $5500, and a 
permanent home provided for the aged and infirm of our indigent citizens. 
This establishment, under the supervision of the selectmen, is confided to the 
charge of a superintendent, constantly residing with his family in the house, 
upon a salary of $350 annually, with board and rent, conducting the cultiva- 
tion of the land, and ministering to the comfort of the numerous dependents 
placed by the swelling population and peculiar local situation of the town 
under his charge, as well as exercising good discipline over those committed 
by public authority to this institution, as a workhouse. 

A building has been erected, aff'ording suitable accommodations for the 
insane, and a hospital is to be established for relief from the occasional visit- 
ation from contagious disorders. 


The following statement exhibits the condition of those supported by the 
charity of the town for two years. 















From 80 to 90 years of age. 



Above 90 years of age, 









Born in Worcester, 






Unable to read or write. 












Whole number. 



The annual taxes for the support of the poor from 1762 to the revolution, 
would average £30. 

Communication. Prior to 1755, there was a mail between Boston and 
Philadelphia. A letter sent from one city to the other, was then three weeks 
on its way, and the writer could not have obtained an answer in less than 
about seven weeks. A great reform took place in that year, and the speed 
was so accelerated, that the mails were delivered in fifteen days, so that the 
reply to the letter could be received in a month from its date. The first 
stage on the route from Boston to New York, set up by J. and N. Brown, star- 
ted June 24, 1772, and was intended to run once a fortnight. In the Boston 
Evening Post, July 6, 1772, patronage is solicited, and it is promised 'that 
gentlemen and ladies who choose to encourage this new, useful, and expen- 
sive undertaking, may depend upon good usage, and that the coach will al- 
ways put up at houses on the road where the best entertainment is provided.' 
Notice was given, that ' the coaches will leave New York and Boston, on their 
next trip, on Monday, July 13, and arrive at each of those places on Satur- 
day the 25th,' occupying thirteen days in going from one place to the other. 
The mail stage now goes from Boston to New York in 34 hours, and to Phil- 
adelphia in 44 hours. A person might reach the former city in 24 hours by 
public conveyance. 

The stage was not continued to the revolution. In 1774, the only regular 
communication of the town, was by a post, going once a week between Hart- 
ford and Boston, and occupying six days in the journey. At that time, the 
mails were carried on horseback in saddlebags. James Adams, who died at 
Charlemont, at advanced age, and a Mr. Hyde, were long employed on this 
route, and went through Shrewsbury, Worcester, Leicester, and Springfield. 

Soon after the removal of the Spy to Worcester, Mr. Thomas made exten- 
sive arrangements for its distribution. In June, 1775, a post rider set off 


each Wednesday at noon, who, by hard travelling, arrived at Cambridge the 
next forenoon, and at Salem by night. Returning, he left Watertown as 
soon as Edes and Gill's Gazette was published on Tuesday, and reached Wor- 
cester in the evening. On Wednesday, a post started for Providence, and 
came back on Saturday. 

The first Post Office of the town was established, Nov. 15, 1775, under the 
charge of Isaiah Thomas, receiving and forwarding one mail from the west on 
Tuesday evening, and one from the east on Friday morning. Nathaniel Mac- 
carty, who had been apprentice to Mr. Thomas, carried papers and letters to 
Fitchburg every Wednesday, thence distributed through the north part of the 

The condition of the roads rendered traveling slow, difficult, and dangerous, 
and intercourse was laborious, tedious, and expensive. The mails were trans- 
mitted, as almost all passing was performed, on horseback. A journey of an 
hundred miles was a matter of greater preparation, apprehension, and toil, 
than one of a thousand would be now. There were few vehicles of any des- 
cription. The first pleasure carriage which was in the town, is said to have 
been a chaise, owned by Daniel Waldo, sen., a merchant of Boston, who, after 
residing some time in Lancaster, removed to Worcester in 1782. 

The first efibrt to establish a stage, appears, from an advertisement, June 
13, 1782, stating, that ' a gentleman in Boston, having a genteel coach and a 
span of horses, would be willing to be concerned with some trusty person ca- 
pable of driving a stage between Boston and Worcester.' The proposal was 
not accepted. But the project of making a regular communication did not 
long slumber. Levi Pease, then of Somers, Conn., and Reuben Sikes,^ then 
of Suffield, 'having furnished themselves with two convenient wagons,' be- 
gan a business, Oct. 20, 1783, which became most extensive. One wagon 
started from the sign of the Lamb in Boston, every Monday morning, at 6 

1 Levi Pease, sometime of Somers, Conn., afterwards of Boston, became an inhabitant of 
Shrewsbury, where he died Jan. 28, 1824, aged 84. During the revolution, he served un- 
der Gen. Thomas, in the Northern department, and in supplying the army with provisions, 
was often exposed to great danger and hardship. His activity and fidelity recommended 
him to Gen. Wadsworth, and he was employed in useful service, connected with the opera- 
tions of the South. He kept tavern for some time in Somers, afterwards in Boston, and final- 
ly went to Shrewsbury, where he afterwards resided. 

He was the original projector, for some time the sole proprietor, and long a principal 
owner, of the stages between Boston and New York. He entered on the enterprise not on- 
ly unassisted, but discouraged by his friends ; the scheme was considered visionary and 
ruinous ; and the most judicious, regarded it as being at least a century in advance of the 
public wants. 

Reuben Sikes, born in Somers, Conn. July IG, 1755, went to Hartford in 1783, and after 
about two years residence removed to Wilbraham, where he remained about ten years : 
was sometime of Sufaeld, Conn., and in May 1807, came to Worcester, and was long pro- 
prietor of the hotel, now the Exchange Coffee House. Although much younger than Capt. 
Pease, the industry, perseverance and enterprise, which marked his character, rendered 
him fit assistant in the execution of a plan, in its origin bold and hazardous. He was ex- 
tensively engaged in the establishment and management of stages, and after the retire- 
ment of his partner, was one of the largest proprietors of that property in New England. 
He died August 19, 1824, aged 69, not long after his associate. 


o'clock, and stopped for the night at Martin's in Northborough : on Tuesday, 
going through Worcester, it rested at Rice's in Brookfield: on Wednes- 
day, it advanced to Pease's, in Somers : and on Thursday reached Hartford. 
The other, leaving Hartford at the same time, and stopping at the same houses, 
arrived in Boston in four days. Passengers were carried for 4d. the mile. 
Mr. Thomas remarks, in the Spy of Oct. 30, ' Should these wagons be encour- 
aged, it will be of much advantage to the public, as persons who have occa- 
sion to travel between, or to, or from, either of the places, may be accommo- 
dated on very reasonable terms, and will not have the trouble and expense of 
furnishing themselves with horses.' They were encouraged, and the enterpri- 
sing proprietors, personally acting as drivers and conductors, set about im- 
provements of their accommodations and arrangements. In May, 1784, they 
purchased new carriages : Pease, going from the Lion, in Marlborough street, 
Boston, lodged at Farrar's in Shrewsbury, and the next day exchanged pas- 
sengers at Spencer with Sikes, who returned by the route of Springfield to 
Hartford. The customers found their way to New Haven, and thence took 
sloop navigation to New York. Industry, frugality, devotion to business, and 
sagacious management, soon made the wagoners and stage drivers wealthy 
proprietors and great mail contractors. They entered into an arrangement 
with Talmage Hall and Jacob Brown of Hartford, to extend the stage commu- 
nication to New Haven, in Nov. 1784.-^ 

In Jan. 1786, the energetic founders had established a line of stages from 
Portsmouth to Savannah, transporting the several mails. From Boston to 
Hartford, coaches left the inn of Levi Pease, opposite the Mall, every Monday 
and Thursday morning, at 5 o'clock : went to Worcester on the first day : 

1 The following interesting memoranda, transcribed from the New York Daily Adverti- 
ser of 1833, differ somewhat from the account in the text. 

' In the year 1786, the first stage carriage that ever was established on the great post 
road between New York and Hartford, was set up by Jacob Brown, then a resident of 
Hartford, in the state of Connecticut, and commenced running between Hartford and New 
Haven. It was a carriage somewhat resembling the coaches of later times, but far inferi- 
or to most of them in woi'kmanship and appearance, and was drawn by one pair of horses, 
which performed the whole journey through from one town to the other. The route was 
upon what is called the middle road, that is by Berlin, Wallingford, die. and the journey 
occupied the day. At that time, for a large part of the year, a great proportion of travel- 
lers from the Eastward to the city of New York, took passage at New Haven, on board the 
sloops which plied between the two ports, and thus finished their journey by water. The 
passages varied according to wind and weather, from twelve hours to three days. A con- 
siderable part of the road between New Haven and New York, along the shore of the 
Sound, was extremely rough, rocky, and uncomfortable, and in fact in some places al- 
most impassible for wheel carriages. After Brown's carriage had run for a year or two, 
or perhaps more, a man of the name of Hall petitioned the legislature of Connecticut for 
the exclusive privilege of running stage carriages on the road from New Haven through 
that state, to Byram river, which was granted, and the stages were established, and run 
for a numb3r of years, when they passed into other hands. Not far from the same time, 
an exclusive privilege of running stage carriages from Hartford to the Massachusetts line, 
between Suffield in Connecticut and West Springfield in Massachusetts, on the great post 
road to Boston, which then parsed in that direction, was granted by the legislature of 
Connecticut to Reuben Sikes, who for many years, in connection with Levi Pease, of 
Shrewsbury in Massachusetts, and probably with others, kept up the line through to Boston.' 


on the next day to Palmer : on the third to Hartford : and in three days more 
arrived at New York. This was the winter arrangement : in summer, the 
stages run with the mail three times a week, ' by which means,' say the own- 
ers, ' those who take passage at Boston in the stage which sets off on Mon- 
day morniog, may arrive at New York on the Thursday evening following, 
and all the mails during the season will be but four days from Boston to New 
York ;' and a letter adds, ' by this unparalleled speed, a merchant may go 
from Boston to New York, and return again in less than ten days ; which is 
truly wonderful.' The advertisement proceeds to remark, that ' it is the most 
convenient and expeditious way of travelling that can be had in America, and 
in order to render it the cheapest, the proprietors had lowered their price from 
4d. to 3d. the mile, with liberty to passengers to carry 14 pounds weight of 
baggage.' In July, 1788, notice was given by Levi Pease, that after great 
expense and fatigue, he had completed the line of stages from Boston to New 
York ; that the carriages which before were heavy and uneasy, had been hung 
upon springs, and would not fatigue more than a common coach : and that to 
Nov. 1, there would be three stages a week, and from that date to May 1, two 
the week. 

From this time onward, the speed of travelling and its facilities were in- 
creased almost beyond measure.-' 

It would not be useful to detail further the steps in the progress of a branch 
of improvement, whose course may be so easily traced by inspection of the 

Stages were placed on almost every road. The lines which centred at Wor- 
cester, and went out and returned here in 1825, before canal or railroad af- 
fected this mode of conveyance, are thus enumerated : there were stages, daily 
to Boston, Hartford, and New York, and to Oxford : three times a week, 5 
lines to Boston ; 1 to Providence ; 1 through Ilardwick to Northampton ; 1 
through Brookfield to the same town ; 1 to Springfield ; 1 to Keene ; 1 to 
East Chelmsford ; 1 to Southbridge ; 1 to Dudley ; twice a ioeek, there was 
a line to Providence ; and there were weekly lines to Athol, to Richmond, N. 
H. and to Ashburnham. Post riders carried mails twice a week to Pomfret, 
Conn, and weekly to Thompson, Conn. : others without mails went to Con- 
cord, Charlton, and Oxford. 

In 1831, it was estimated that the average amount of travelling in stages 
between Boston and Worcester, was equal to 22,360 passages per annum, for 
which the lowest price of fare was two dollars, and the shortest time six 

1 The improvement in the rate of motion in England, has been as great as in the United 
States. An advertisement of stage coaches in the Newcastle Courant of 1712, says, ' All 
that desire to pass from Edinbro' to London, or from London to Edinbro', or any place on 
that road, let them repniv to Mr. John Bailie's at the Coach and Horses, at the head of 
Cannongate, Edinbro', every other Saturday, or to the Black Swan, in Holborn, every oth- 
er Monday : at both of which places, 'ihey may be received in a stage coach, which per- 
forms the whole journey in thirteen days, without any stoppage, if God permits, having 
SO able horses to perform the whole stage.' A late English paper states that the Mail 
coach from Edinburgh to London has been through in 40 hours. 


The subjoined list exhibits an account of the different lines of stages in 
September, 1836, and the number of times each arrives and departs weekly. 


3 to 


Stage to 













Springfield Mail, 





Southern Mail, 





Tremont Line, 







North Brookfield, 




















The stage books gave the total receipts of three lines for the year ending 
April 1, 1835, thus : from Worcester to Springfield $8,699 : to Northampton 
$13,086: by the way of Amherst $3,131: amounting in the whole to 
$24,915. It was estimated that the number of passengers annually carried 
between Worcester and Hartford was 30,000. 

Manufactures. Before the revolution, and for a long period after its 
conclusion, the manufactures of the town were very inconsiderable. 

Works for making potash were first established in the north part of the 
town, about 1760; buildings for similar purposes Avere placed on Lincoln 
street, by John Nazro, about ten years after : four more were erected at much 
later periods : but all have long since been destroyed. 

The distillation of rye, to an extent not only sufiicient for home consump- 
tion, but afi'ording some surplus for exportation, was early commenced, but 
was not successful. 

In 1780, an association was formed, for the purpose of spinning and weav- 
ing^cotton. In February, it was stated in the Spy, that a subscription was 
making for defraying the expenses of a jenny, Mr. Thomas announces, under 
date April 30, that ' on Tuesday last, the first piece of corduroy made at the 
manufactory in this town was taken from the loom. Good judges speak high- 
ly of it, as superior to English. The carding machine, which is a great curi- 
osity, as well as is the spinning machine, has been completed some time. In 
a little time it is hoped, the corduroys, jeans, &c. made in this town will be 
sufficient to supply the country.' The proprietors, it is said, in December, 
' had lately erected buildings, and taken other measures to carry on business 
extensively. A large quantity of fustian, jean, and corduroy are for sale now, 
lasting longer, and retaining color and beauty better, than the foreign.' These 
articles, Avith the addition of * federal rib and cotton,' were advertised by Sam- 
uel Brazer, in May, 1790. The site of the establishment was on the stream 
a short distance below the Court Mills. Want of profit or perseverance, in- 
duced the owners to forego their brilliant anticipations, and the manufactory 
edifice, removed to Main street, was long after known as the ' Green store.' 

Paper was made by Mr. Thomas in 1794, on the Blackstone river. The 
mill then erected was afterwards leased and finally sold to Elijah Burbank, 

TRADE. 269 

and the business, continued by bim until 1834, has since been extended by 
the Quinsigamond Paper Company. 

A card manufactory was commenced by Daniel Denny in 1798. 

Peter and Ebenezer Stowell, in Oct. 1804, commenced weaving carpets and 
plaids, and at one time, had six looms of their own invention and construc- 
tion in operation. They pursued, at the same time, the business of printing 
calicos, and built shearing machines, superseded in use, in latter days, by 
those of more perfect operation. 

Abel Stowell, carried on a very extensive manufacture of tower and church 
clocks, and many now remain to attest the value of his handiwork, and mark 
the hours of the present generation. 

In 1803, Joshua Hale began the carding of wool in the south part of the 
town, and in 1810, erected a cotton factory, which, though of humble extent 
in comparison with the immense structures of the mill owners of the valley of 
the Blackstone, was considered a great enterprise a quarter of a century ago. 

During the last ten years the water power of the town has been made to 
have more than double the former capacity, by the establishment of reservoirs, 
and is susceptible of being increased to great extent by the same means. 

There are now 2 mills manufacturing broadcloths: 6 making satinets: 1 
for cotton sheeting and shirting : 2 for satinet warps : 1 for pelisse wadding : 
2 for paper. There are seven extensive establishments for building machin- 
ery : one wire factory : an iron foundry : and manufactories of sashes, doors, 
and blinds : of lead aqueduct pipe : of paper hangings : of cabinet furniture : 
of chairs : of brushes : of trunks and harnesses : of ploughs : of hats : of 
shoes : of watches : of umbrellas : of cutlery : of piano fortes : and many oth- 
er articles of utility or ornament. The amount of production in the differ- 
ent branches of manufacturing industry is very great, and constantly in- 

Teade. Where almost every hand and head is busy in some branch of in- 
dustry, and employments are multiplied and various, it has been found im- 
possible to state in figures the amount of capital employed, or the precise re- 
sults on general wealth. 

Some aid is afforded in estimating the amount of business by the annual 
receipts of the Post Office. They are returned as follows : 

Years. 1825. 1826. 1827. 1828. 1829. 1830. 1831. 1832. 1833. 1834. 1835. 1836. 

Receipts. $713 844 961 1008 1141 1332 1338 1469 1743 2053 2294 2827 

The number of dwelling houses, stores, and factories, erected in the town 
within the two last years, has been estimated to exceed three hundred : the 
stores and warehouses actually occupied are upwards of ninety : 

The principal articles of import are grain, flour, lumber, coal, salt, lime, 
gypsum, oil, iron, lead, hardware, dry goods, groceries, paints, dye stuffs, 
cotton and wool : of exports, ship timber, bricks, machinery, wooden ware, 
castings, cotton and woolen goods, paper, shoes, chairs. 

1 An effort has been made to ascertain the amount of manufactures of the town : but 
Bufficient information has not been obtained to make an estimate with accuracy. Some 
details in relation to manufactures, trade, and business, will be found in the appendix. 



Societies and Institutions. Medical District Society. Antiquarian Society. Agricultu- 
ral Society. Historical Society. Atheneum. Banks. Insurance Companies. Savings 
Institution. "Various Associations. Military Companies. Newspapers and Periodicals. 

Many of the societies meeting, acting and having a kind of residence here, 
belong to the county or country, rather than the town : yet, they are so closely 
connected with Worcester, that they could not properly be passed by in its 

Worcester Medical Society. A medical association was first formed 
in the county of Worcester, August, 1784, of which Dr. Samuel Prentice 
was Secretary, but it soon died, leaving no records for the historian. 

The Mass. Medical Society, intended to produce that harmony and mutual 
effort necessary to elevate the profession to the standing and usefulness which 
the interests of the community required, failed of its object, by the limitation 
of its members to eighty in Massachusetts and Maine, and the restriction on 
their consultations with any, except those who obtained the qualifications 
they required. By the exertions of Dr. Oliver Fiske, the most repectable 
and influential physicians of the county assembled, and formed the Worces- 
ter Medical Society, Dec. 18, 1794. Dr. John Frink of Rutland, was 
elected President, and Dr. Fiske of Worcester, Secretary. At an early meet- 
ing, a petition was preferred to the Legislature for incorporation, referred to 
a joint committee of physicians, and resulted in an arrangement to enlarge 
the numbers of the general society, and a proposal to create district associa- 
tions. This system, removing the evils which had been felt, and mutually 
satisfactory, was carried into eff'ect, and on the 26th of Sept. 1804, the Wor- 
cester District Society was organized. The succession of Presidents has been 
as follows : 1794, John Frink : 1804, Israel Atherton : 1806, Oliver Fiske: 
1807, Thomas Babbitt: 1813. Abraham Haskell: 1814, Jonathan Osgood; 
1820, Abraham Haskell: 1825, Stephen Bacheller : 1830, John Green. 

The Society have a very valuable library of about 400 volumes of works of 
professional use. 

The American Antiqttarian Society. This institution, having for 
its object the collection and preservation of materials for the history of the 
western continent, was founded by Isaiah Thomas, LL. D. In the prepara- 
tion of his work on printing, he had gathered the relics of the departed cen- 
turies, with curious illustrations of the literature of former times, at an ex- 
pense few antiquarians could have bestowed, and with diligence and care none 
other would have devoted. Feeling the good the experience of the past may 
convey to the future, it was his design to save the seeds of knowledge gath- 
ered in successive centuries, to yield their increase in those which may succeed; 
and by perpetuating the memorials of the present, to enable other generations 
to become wiser and happier by the experiments of their predecessors. Con- 
necting with himself many friends of improvement and lovers of history, an 


association was formed by his exertions, incorporated by the Legislature of 
Massachusetts, Oct. 12, 1812. The centre building of Antiquarian Hall, erect- 
ed at his expense, in 1820, with the land on which it stands, was presented by 
him to the society. The first volume of transactions, relating principally to 
the fortifications, mounds and antiquities of the extinct nations of the west, 
was published, in 1820, at his charge. On his decease, by munificent be- 
quests, he provided for the support of the institution he had established, and 
for the promotion of its great purposes. In the second volume of transac- 
tions, published in Sept. 1836, are inserted, an extended and profound disser- 
tation on Indian history and languages, by Hon. Albert Gallatin, and the Me- 
moir of the Chistian Indians, by Daniel Gookin, so frequently referred to in 
former pages. The Library, estimated to contain 12,000 volumes, includes 
the collections of Mr. Thomas, a large portion of the books of the Mathers, 
many in the German language, bequeathed by Dr. Bentley of Salem, a vast 
mass of tracts and manuscripts, and the best series of American newspapers 
preserved in the country. There is a valuable cabinet illustrative of antiqui- 
ties and natural history. Two stated meetings of the society are held annu- 
ally ; one in Boston, on the old election day in May ; the other for the elec- 
tion of officers, in Worcester, in October, on the anniversary of the landing 
of Columbus. The number of American members is limited to 140 ; many 
distinguished foreigners are enrolled on the catalogue by honorary elections. 
The funds, amounting to about $22,000, are appropriated to the support of 
a librarian, the purchase of books, the exploration of antiquities, and the 
other specific purposes designated by the munificent donor. The institution 
has been managed on the most liberal plan : its collections have been kept 
open to the public freely, and have been much frequented by strangers and 

WoBCESTER Agricultural Society. This most excellent institution 
was incorporated, Feb. 23, 1818." At the first meeting, March 11, 1818, for 
the purpose of forming a fund to be sacredly appropriated for the promotion 
of agriculture, the contribution of five dollars was required from each member 
on admission. In December following, Levi Lincoln, Daniel Waldo, and 
Edward D. Bangs, were appointed a committee, to ask for legislative bounty, 
who presented a petition at the next session. In consequence of this applica- 
tion, and other similar memorials, the Act of Feb. 20, 1819, granted from 

^ These officers have been elected : Prexidents; 1812, Isaiah Thomas : 1831, Thomas L. 
Winthrop. Vice Presidents ; 1812, William D. Peck : 1813, William Paine: 1816, Aaron 
Bancroft, Timothy Bigelow : 1821, DeWit Clinton : 1828, Thomas L. Winthrop : 1831, John 
Davis, Joseph Story. Treasurers; 1813, Levi Lincoln : 1814-, Isaiah Thomas, jr. : 1819, Na- 
thaniel Maccarty : 1829, Samuel J ennison. Corresponding Secretaries ; 1812, ThaddeusM. 
Harris: 1814, Samuel M. Burnside : 1816, Abiel Holmes : 1826, William Lincoln, for do- 
mestic correspondence : 1832, Edward Everett, for foreign correspondence. 

The late C. C. Baldwin, was librarian from April 1832, to his death in August 1835. 
Maturin L. Fisher, has been acting librarian sinse that date. 

2 Before the revolution, cattle fairs were held annually at Hardwick. The Shrewsbury 
Agricultural Society, and the Brookfield Association of Husbandmen, preceded the society 
of the county. 


the state treasury, to each agricultural society, $200 annually for six years, 
for every thousand dollars of funds they had raised ; with the limitation, that 
the sum thus drawn, should not exceed $600 the year. The full amount of 
the munificent appropriation of the goYernment, since extended for a longer 
period, has been received by the association, and an amount nearly equal dis- 
tributed in premiums, or applied to the payment of necessary charges. The 
exhibitions of cattle and manufactures, in the month of October, beginning in 
1819, have been since continued with increasing interest. The festival has 
given one quiet spot among the conflicts of excited times, where all sects and 
parties have met to unite their efforts for the common good. Addresses on 
these occasions have been delivered by the following gentlemen : 
Years. Years. 

1819. Levi Lincoln, 1828. William S. Hastings, 

1820. Lewis Bigelow, 1829. William Lincoln, 

1821. Jonathan Russell, 1830. Ira Barton, 

1822. Nathaniel P. Denny, 1831. Oliver Fiske, 

1823. Oliver Fiske, 1832. Waldo Flint, 

1824. Isaac Goodwin, 1833. Solomon Strong, 

1825. George A. Tufts, 1834. Charles Allen, 

1826. Emory Washburn, 1835. Stephen Salisbury, 

1827. Pliny Merrick, 1836. James G. Carter. 

The amount of funds and of monies paid as premiums, in years ending with 
the annual meeting in April, are as follows : 

Years, 1820. 1826. 1827. 1828. 1829. 1830. 1831. 1832. ^1833. 1834. 1835. 1836. 
Funds, $2955 4636 4880 5100 5378 5739 6036 6645^6942 7352 7683 7938 
Premiums, $434 492 GS7 536 414 417 391 464 476 476 4S0 494 

The following officers have been elected; Presidents, 1818, Ijevi lAncoln, 
sen. : 1820, Daniel Waldo : 1824, Levi Lincoln ; Treasurer, 1818, Theoph- 
ilus Wheeler : Cor. Secretaries, 1818, Levi Lincoln: 1824, Oliver Fiske: 
Recording Secretaries, 1818, Abraham Lincoln; 1819, Edward D. Bangs : 
1823, William D. Wheeler ; 1834, Charles G. Prentiss ; 1836, Edwin Conant. 

The Wokcestee. Historical Society, incorporated Feb. 19, 1831, was 
formed for the purpose of collecting and preserving all materials necessary for 
compiling a full account of the history, statistics, and geography of the coun- 
ty. It requires, as evidence of qualification for membership, the publication 
of some work, or some practical exertion in aid of these objects. Hon. John 
Davis has been president since the organization.'^ 

1 The Centennial anniversary of the erection of AVorcester county, was celebrated by this 
society Oct. 4, 1831. The first Court of Common Pleas was opened Aug. 10, 1731 : and 
the Supreme Court of Judicature was held Sept. 22, 1731. It was deemed equally proper 
to commemorate either of the leading events of the first year of the century. Having re- 
gard to the attendance of the citizens, and from other considerations, the first day of the 
session of the Supreme Judicial Court in 1831 was selected, and the centennial anniversa- 
ry of the sitting of that tribunal was commemorated, on Tuesday, Oct. 4, although the 
date was not precisely coincident with the return of the judicial term. The Address was 
delivered by Hon. John Davis, and, with a particular account of the ceremonies, is deposi- 
ted in the Am. Antiquarian Society's Collections. 



The Wokcestek County Atheneum, was incorporated, March 12, 1830, 
with the intention of forming a full library for general use. Thirty four pro- 
prietors purchased shares, at the price of twenty five dollars each, subject to 
an annual assessment of two dollars. About 3000 volumes of works of gen- 
eral literature have been gathered, making a foundation for an extensive col- 
lection in future time. The library is now kept in one of the rooms of Anti- 
quarian Hall, appropriated for the purpose. 

The Rev, George Allen has been President: Frederick W. Paine, Treas- 
urer : and William Lincoln, Secretary, from the organization. 

The Worcester Bank, was originally incorporated with a capital of 
$200,000, March 7, 1804, audits charter has been renewed, in 1811 and 1831. 
The first President was Daniel Waldo, sen. chosen 1804, who declined the 
office in October following, when Daniel Waldo was elected his successor, 
and has since been at the head of the institution. The Cashiers have been : 
1804, Levi Thaxter : 1806, Robert Breck Brigham : 1812, Samuel Jennison. 

The Central Bank, was incorporated March 12, 1828, with a capital of 
$100,000. Benjamin Butman Avas President to the autumn of 1836, when Kinnicutt was elected. The Cashiers have been; 1828, Otis Cor- 
bett; 1829, George A. Trumbull: 1836, William Dickinson. 

The QuiNSiGAMOND Bank, chartered March 25, 1833, has a capital of 
$100,000. Its Presidents have been : 1833, Alfred D.Foster: 1836, Isaac 
Davis. Charles A. Hamilton has been Cashier. 

The Citizens Bank, was incorporated April 9, 1836, with $500,000 cap- 
ital, and went into operation in October following. Benjamin Butman is 
President, Geo. A. Trumbull, Cashier, and Rhodes B. Chapman, Accountant. 

The Worcester Mutual Fire Insurance Company, was incorporated 
Feb. 11, 1823. Its powers are vested in a president, treasurer, secretary, 
and eight directors, elected at the annual meeting on the second Wednesday 
of December. The following has been the succession of the principal officers : 
Presidents; 1824, Rejoice Newton; 1831, Frederick W. Paine; Secretaries ; 
1824, Henry K. Newcomb, William D. Wheeler: 1827, Isaac Goodwin: 
1832, Anthony Chase. 

The table below shows the extension and progress of its business. 



Amt. each 


Total amt. 















$2169 86 
2675 56 
2845 00 
2159 34 
2374 71 
3190 28 
2880 86 
4653 90 
5973 43 
9343 75 
8403 90 

10750 62 




. Cash Funds. 

$610 79 

392 65 


295 90 



394 60 



317 27 $1800 

414 83 


499 80 



637 49 


$15885 11 

808 00 


21991 80 

935 35 


26400 24 

838 80 


34904 31 

1132 40 


46603 50 


As the association is formed for mutual security, and not for profit, there 
are strictly speaking no dividends. The average of amounts returned to the 
insurers on the expiration of policies, have been : in 1831, 77i cents of each 
dollar paid as premium: in 1832, 82J: in 1833, 81^: in 1834, 83 J: in 
1835, 90J. 

The Mantjfactukers Mutual Fiee Insurance Company, founded on 
that principle of giving mutual security expressed by its name, was incorpor- 
ated Feb. 25, 1834. Two millions of dollars were subscribed and are held as 
a fund, liable to assessment for losses. The company commenced business, 
Aug. 5, 1834, by issuing policies on the property of manufacturing establish- 
ments. By an act additional to the charter, the corporation were authorized 
to eifect insurance on buildings, public and private, except dwelling houses 
not connected with manufactories, within the United States. 

The statements below include the business of years ending Oct. 1, 






Cash funds. 



















The dividends of returned premiums in 1835, were 55^ : in 1836, 65 J. 
The concerns are managed by a president, twelve directors, and a secretary. 
The former and latter have been these : Presidents ; 1834, David T. Brigham : 
1835, Harvey Blashfield : Secretaries ; 1834, Edward H. Hemenway : 1835, 
Samuel Allen. 

There is an agency of the Springfield Insurance Company in Worcester. 

The Worcester County Institution for Savings, was incorporated 
February 8, and organized April 17, 1828. A president, secretary, treasurer, 
twelve vice presidents, and twenty-four trustees, chosen at the annual meet- 
ings, have the general charge of the institution, and make examination of its 
concerns by monthly committees. The funds are loaned and invested by a 
board selected by the trustees. The statement annexed, shows the condition 
of this most useful institution in years terminating in April. 

1829. 1830. 1831. 1832. 1833. 1834. 1835. 1836. 

Depositors, 105 251 400 678 913 1128 1442 1860 

Deposites,$6263 13645 32032 68994 109983 151797 202477 276388 

It appears from the annual returns made to the Secretary of the Common- 
wealth, that the whole expenses of the institution, during the current year, 
when the funds have increased to nearly $300,000, were $641, only. From 
the commencement, not a dollar of the investments have been lost. 

Daniel Waldo has been President, and Samuel Jennison, Treasurer, from 
the organization. Isaac Goodwin was Secretary to August, 1832, and Wil- 
liam Lincoln has held that office since. 

The multitude of unchartered associations is too great for separate enumer- 
ation. There are societies for the promotion of sabbath schools; of temper- 
ance ; of missionary purposes ; of moral reform ; of education ; of charity ; 
of science : there are others for mutual protection against the calamity of fire ; 


for punishing depredations on orchards and gardens ; for the prevention and 
detection of theft ; for improvement in music, and for many other benevolent 
or useful purposes. Among these, the Bible Society and the Lyceum are 
probably the only ones requiring particular notice. 

The Auxiliary Bible Society was organized Sept. 7, 1815. The set- 
tled ministers of the gospel in the county, of every denomination, are entitled 
to membership ex officio. The payment of one dollar annually constitutes a 
member while the contribution is continued, and of ten dollars gives the priv- 
ileges for life. So well have the people of the county been supplied with 
the sacred scriptures, that during the first ten years of its existence, the 
society, furnishing the indigent in a population of about 80000 gratuitously, 
and seeking for those who are destitute, had distributed only 740 bibles, and 
77 testaments. During this period, about $2000 had been collected. In 
1822, the association having become a branch of the American Bible Society, 
paid over $500 in one sum, and subsequently transferred to that noble insti- 
tution a fund of $1000, which had been invested on interest. Within the 
last period of ten years, increased population and accessions of foreigners have 
rendered the distribution of the scriptures greater, and the better means and 
deeper interest of the charitable in the objects of the society swelled the dona- 
tions. From the latest annual report which has been published, it appears 
that, for the year ending Oct. 1, 1834, the receipts were $2353 : the amount 
paid to the national society for the purchase of books $334 : and as free gift 
$1722 : the number of bibles issued were 2G7, of testaments 683.^ 

Worcester Lyceum. This society was formed Nov. 4, 1829, for mutual 
instruction and improvement. The management of the common concerns is 
confided to a president, treasurer, secretary, and an executive committee of 
eight members, elected by ballot, at the annual meeting, first held in No- 
vember, and recently on the last Thursday of March. Lectures are delivered 
on each Thursday evening during the months from October to March. Oc- 
casional courses on the sciences, have been given by distinguished teachers. 
During the first years of the association, classes were formed among the mem- 
bers for acquiring practical knowledge, and their exercises were pursued with 
pleasure and benefit. 

Membership is gained by any person of good moral character, on the pay. 
ment of one dollar, at the commencement of the year ; by those from eighteen 
to twenty-one, on the annual contribution of seventy-five cents ; and any one 
between the ages of twelve and eighteen years, on the deposit of fifty cents, 
becomes entitled to all the advantages and means of improvement of the in- 

Ihe Lyceum is possessed of a good chemical apparatus, and a well-selected 
library of about 500 volumes, beneficially and extensively used by the young 

1 The Presidents have been; 181o, Joseph Allen: 1822, Aaron Bancroft: 1824, Jonas 
Kendall: 1827, Levi Lincoln: 1834, John Davis. Treasurers, 181o, Benjamin Heywood : 
1817, Samuel Allen: 1820, William Jennison : 1824, Charles Allen : 1830, Benjamin But- 
man. Secretaries, I'ilb, Nathaniel Thayer: 1818, Lemuel Capen : 1819, Joseph Allen, of 
Northborough : 1829, George Allen : 1832, Alfred D. Foster. 


artizans and operatives of the village. By a provision of the constitution, no 
alienation of the property is to be made : to secure its preservation during 
any suspension of the society, the selectmen are authorized to deposit 
the collections Avith some incorporated literary institution of the town, to be 
held in trust, and transferred to some new association for similar purposes. 

The number of members in 1830, was 276 : in 1831, 126 ; in 1832, 191 : 
in 1833,171: in 1834, 181 ; in 1835, 190. But these numbers do not indicate 
the attendance ; the great hall of the Town House has been thronged with a 
continually increasing crowd ; and the institution, sustained by popular favor, 
has been an example of the successful diffusion of learning by the cheapest 
possible medium of communication. 

The officers have been these: Presidents: 1829, Jonathan Going; 1832, 
John Park; 1836, Alfred Dwight Foster. Secretaries: 1829, Anthony 
Chase ; 1832, Horatio L. Carter ; 1833, Warren Lazell. 

Military Companies. Soon after the garrisons of the first planters, 
formed from the neighborhood, ceased to be kept, a military company was 
formed to act against the Indian enemies, who had united themselves with 
the French, and retiring to a distance, made frequent invasions. Daniel 
Heywood was elected and long remained captain. There are some slight 
traces of its existence, in 1725, but it cannot be certainly stated that it began 
so early. In 1760, there were two bodies of militia, one numbering 59, and 
the other 48, under Capt. John Johnson and Capt. James Goodwin. 

About 1783, the Worcester Artillery was formed, of volunteers, and Wil- 
liam Treadwell ^ elected Captain. This corps, the oldest of the martial 
associations of the town, is now commanded by Capt. Josiah G. Perry, and 
has two six pounders granted by the state for its use. 

The Independent Cadets, under Capt. Thomas Chandler, was formed during 
the war with France in 1798, and on its conclusion, was disbanded. 

The Worcester Light Infantry ^a.ra.AeA. for the first time, in May 1804, under 
Captain Levi Thaxter. The commanding officers have been, Levi Thaxter, 
Enoch Flagg, William E. Green, Isaac Sturtevant, John W. Lincoln, Sewall 
Hamilton, John Coolidge, Samuel Ward, Artemas Ward, John Whittemore, 
Charles A. Hamilton, William S. Lincoln, Charles H. Geer. 

The Worcester Rifle Corps, established in 1823, was disbanded in 1835. 

The numbers doing duty in volunteer companies during 1835 and 1836, 
has been about 50 ; there are two large companies of militia, with a force of 
more than 200 men. 

1 Major William Treadwell, one of the most gallant of the officers of the army of the revo- 
lution, entered the service at an early age, and was distinguished for lion-hearted courage. 
He had an enthusiastic love of danger. Twice, when his own division was at rest, he ob- 
tained leave of absence and joined another corps on the eve of battle. While the shot of 
the enemy struck around him, the testimony of a cotemporary states, he would consider 
with the most deliberate cooJness the direction of his own guns, look over the sights to 
give the best aim, and after the discharge, spring upon the cannon to see the effect. He 
retired with honorable scars and rank, to a condition of poverty, that drove him to de- 
spair, and died broken-hearted, April 14, 1795, aged 46. 



The Massachusetts Spy, established in Boston by Isaiah Thomas, in 
July, 1770, was first issued in Worcester, May 3, 1775, and has preserved the 
series of its numbers unbroken to the sixty-fifth volume and year of its exis- 
tence, having long since reached the venerable rank of the oldest paper in 
Massachusetts, where the printing of newspapers began. Daniel Bigelow and 
William Stearns, two gentlemen of the legal profession, became lessees, June 
27. 1776: finding the labors inconsistent with their appropriate business, 
they transferred the right of publication to Anthony Haswell, afterwards con- 
ductor of the Vermont Gazette, Aug. 14, 1 777. The press was resumed by Mr. 
Thomas in June, 1778, and retained until 1802, when it was resigned to 
Isaiah Thomas, Jr. After some changes of ownership, in 1819, it was pur- 
chased by William Manning and George A. Trumbull, and in 1823, John Milton 
Earle became editor, and has since continued the principal or sole proprietor. 

The Massachusetts Herald or Worcester Journal, a small paper of 
four quarto pages, was issued by Isaiah Thomas, Sept. 6, 1783, and intended 
by the publisher, as a Saturday abridgement of his larger sheet. The adver- 
tisement states ' that if it should fail of being properly nurtured by the public, 
it will, as it is a rib taken from the Spy, be again replaced, without murmur 
or complaint.' Public patronage did not sustain the undertaking, and it was 
abandoned after the fourth number. 

American Herald and Worcester Recorder. The Herald, which had 
been published in Boston during seven preceding years, was removed to 
Worcester, Aug. 21, 1788, and issued on Thursdays, by Edward Eveleth 
Powers, who united the trade of bookseller with that of printer. The 
paper was decorated with an agricultural device, and bore the motto, ' vene- 
rate the plough' ; professed perfect impartiality in politics; promised intel- 
ligence in rural economy ; and was marked by no distinct character : after 
two years and two months, it was discontinued. 

The Independent Gazetteer, the fourth newspaper of Worcester, was 
commenced Jan. 7, 1 800, and published by Nahum Mower and Daniel 
Greenleaf, until the 7th of October succeeding, when the partnership of the 
proprietors was dissolved, and the publication was continued by the latter, 
through two years. When this period was completed, the list of subscribers 
was transferred to the conductor of the Spy. 

The National ^gis, was established in support of the policy of Mr. 
Jefferson, amid the fiercest warfare of the great parties organized at the com- 
mencement of the present century. Subscriptions were obtained among the 
ardent politicians in the vicinity and in Boston, amounting to about $1200, 
for the purchase of a press and printing materials.-^ Proposals, bearing inter- 
nal evidence of the authorship of Hon. Francis Blake, were sent out Sept. 8, 

1 Among the subscriptions were these : Benjamin Austin, $150 ; James Sullivan, $100 ; 
James Prince, $100 ; Jonathan L. Austin, $100 ; Levi Lincoln, sen. $100 ; William Eustis, 
$45 ; William Jarvis, $45. 


1801, detailing the plan afterwards executed inspirited manner by himself 
and others ; the paper was to be devoted to the defence of the national ad- 
ministration, and unceasing opposition to its enemies ; the last page, called 
" the Olio," was assigned as a separate department for literary essays, and se- 
lections. The first number appeared Dec. 2, 1801. Deriving its name from 
the arms of Minerva, the front exhibited the figure of the mythologic goddess 
of wisdom, grasping the spear in one hand, and resting the other on the shield, 
bearing the device of the gorgon's head, wreathed with olive branches. Mr. 
Blake, as editor, gave high character to the print, and many of the ablest 
writers of the county cooperated with its gifted conductor, to influence and 
direct public sentiment. This arrangement continued until 1804, when Mr. 
Blake retired. In December, 1805, the whole property was attached under 
a claim growing out of debts of the printer, Samuel Cotting, and the publi- 
cation suspended. The democratic citizens, roused to exertion, procured new 
apparatus, which they vested in trustees, and the ^Egis again appeared, Feb. 
19, 1806, in deplorable dishabille for a time, but soon regained neatness and 
beauty. A new calamity occurred to interrupt its prosperity. On Sunday, 
the 6th of July, during the hours of worship, a part of the types were re- 
moved, and the sheets, impressed on one side, carried away by Cotting, who, 
on the next Wednesday, in his individual capacity, sent out the paper in 
handsome form, while the trustees of the subscription fund were scarcely able 
to communicate their misfortune. A curious state followed, realizing the 
confusion of external identity, imagined in the Comedy of Errors. Two papers 
were published in the same town, on the same day, claiming to be ' the true 
.yEgis.' A contest painful to retrace ensued, disturbing the repose of the 
village, proceeding almost from words to blows in private discussion, and 
furnishing subjects for judicial investigation. The good sense of the com- 
munity, for a time amused by the bitter feeling of the combatants, and the 
personal insult degrading pages which should have been devoted to common 
improvement, at length acted on the source of the commotion, and after a 
few months of infamous existence, the false print disappeared. 

After some changes, the -3^^gis, in 1807, went into the hands of Henry 
Rogers, then late of Hartford, who was publisher until the close of 1824, when 
Charles Griffin became partner with him. In July, 1833, it was united with 
the Yeoman, and became merged with that print not long after.^ 

The Massachusetts Yeoman was commenced Sept. 3, 1823, by Austin 
Denny, Esq., who continued to be sole or principal editor, proprietor, and 

1 Among the editors of the ^Egis, at different periods, were Francis Blake, Edward 
Bangs, Levi Lincoln, Samuel Brazer, AVilliam Cliarles White, Enoch Lincoln, Edward D. 
Bangs, Pliny Merrick, William Lincoln, Christopher C. Baldwin, William N. Green. 

A paper borrowing its descriptive appellation from the worst of reptiles, the Scorpion, 
came out July 2G, 1809, and on successive Wednesdays, without the name of printer or 
publisher, resembling those abusive periodicals serving as safety valves to convey away 
the fermenting malignity of base hearts. Its existence was evidence of the unlimited 
freedom of the press, and its speedy suppression, an instance of the power of public opin- 
ion to restrain its licentiousness, and of the healthy tone of moral sentiment amid the 
violence of party hostility, crushing the slanderer under the weight of general contempt. 


publisher, until his decease. It was issued on Saturday. In July, 1833, it 
was united with the ^gis, and in January following, the title was changed 
and the existence of the paper ceased. 

The Worcester Republican was established in 1829, by Jubal Har- 
rington, and has been under the management of that gentleman, except dur- 
ing short intervals. 

The Worcester Palladium succeeded to the ^Egis and Yeoman. It 
was commenced in January, 1834, and has continued under the editorial care 
of Mr. J. S. C. Knowlton. 

The Worcester Weekly Magazine. An act of Massachusetts, March, 
1785, imposing a duty of two thirds of a penny on newspapers, and a penny 
on almanacs, which were to be stamped, was so unpopular from its very 
name, that it was repealed before it went into operation, and as a substitute, 
for the purposes of revenue, a tax was levied on all advertisements inserted in 
the public journals. This was regarded by Mr. Thomas as an undue restraint 
on the press. He suspended the publication of the Spy during the two years the 
act was in force, and printed a periodical in octavo form, with the name at the 
head of this article, beginning in the first week of April, 1786, and ending 
the fourth volume on the last of March, 1788. 

The Worcester Magazine and Historical Journal, was published by 
William Lincoln and Christopher C. Baldwin, in 1825 and 1826: the num- 
bers of the first volume were issued twice a month, and those of the second 
once a month : It was intended to contain a particular history of each town 
of the county. Notices of Templeton, Sterling, Shrewsbury, Leicester, North- 
borough, West Boylston, Paxton, and Lancaster, and a general view of Wor- 
cester county, were furnished by difi'erent writers. At the expiration of a 
year the work was discontinued. 

The Worcester Talisman, a literary and miscellaneous journal, consist- 
ing principally of selections, was published on Saturday, during the year after 
April 5, 1828, on an octaA'o sheet, forming one volume, by Messrs. Dorr and 
Rowland, and was continued to Oct. 15, 1829, in quarto form, by John Milton 

The Family Visitor, a religious quarto, was published weekly by Moses 
W. Grout during a few months of 1832 ; but was soon discontinued.^ 

1 Printing was formerly carried on by Isaiah Thomas to an extent, which, relatively to 
the general state of business at the period, was immense, and would be considered as 
great, even in comparison with the rapid publication of recent years. Seven of his 
presses were worked under his immediate direction, and the number of persons employed 
by him, in paper making, printing, binding, and the branches of bookmaking and selling, 
was about 150. There are in 1836, four printing offices. 

The books belonging to the societies and associations, number about 20,000 volumes : 
probably those in private libraries would exceed 50,000 volumes. 

The number of newspapers and periodicals circulated in the town, is greater than the 
whole amount printed in the state before the revolution. In no community are the facili- 
ties of instruction and information greater; and there can be few where they are better 




Situation. Boundaries. Extent. Divisions. Streets and Roads. Turnpikes. Black- 
stone Canal. Railroads. Public Buildings. Public Lands. Burial Places. Face of 
the town. Ponds. Streams. Hills. Mines and Minerals. 

Situation. Worcester, the shire town of the county, is situated 40 miles 
westward from Boston, 40 N. N. W. from Providence, 60 miles E. N. E. 
from Hartford, about 50 miles from Northampton, the nearest point on Con- 
necticut river, and 394 from Washington. From the boundary of New Hamp- 
shire, in the shortest direction, the town is distant about 30 miles ; from that 
of New York, about 70 ; from Rhode Island, about 20 ; from the tide waters 
of Boston Harbor, about 40 miles. Lines drawn on the map, intersecting 
each other at Worcester, Boston, and Providence, would form a triangle al- 
most equilateral. The north latitude of Antiquarian Hall, ascertained by 
Robert Treat Paine, Esq. is 42° 16' 9" : the west longitude, computed from 
observation on the annular eclipse of the sun in February, 1831, by that gen- 
tleman, in degrees, is 71°, 49', in time, 4h. 47m. 16s. 

The elevation above the ocean, as estimated by the engineer of the Black- 
stone Canal, at Thomas street, near the centre of the village, is 451 feet : the 
elevation of Main street above Charles street in Boston, is stated by Mr. Fes- 
senden at 456 feet. 

Boundaries and Extent. The town is bounded, on the north principal- 
ly by Holden, touching at the northwest corner on Paxton, and at the north- 
east extremity of the line, on West Boylston ; east by West Boylston and 
Shrewsbury, and for a short distance at the southeast corner by Grafton: 
south, by Millbury and Ward : west by Leicester, and at the southwest cor- 
ner borders on Ward. 

The area contained within these lines, is about thirty six square miles : or 
more exactly, 22842 acres ; about 600 acres are covered with water : 700 
used for roads ; 1925 are estimated to be occupied as tillage ; 5683 as mow- 
ing ; 10262 as pasture ; 3730 with wood ; and about 1000 are unimproved. 

Divisions. The town is separated into twelve school districts, having 
permanent boundaries : the centre is marked 1 : directly west is that desig- 
nated 2 : next south of this is 3 : the others are numbered in regular succes- 
sion, circling around the centre district, with the exception of 12, which was 
formed by partition of an original district, and lies between those distinguish- 
ed as 9 and 10, disturbing the symmetry of the arrangement. 

The principal village, so surrounded by hills that it is scarcely seen by the 
stranger until he enters its streets, has extended but little south of the terri- 
torial centre on which the founders seem to have designed it should be plan- 


ted. The description of Dr. Dwight,^ about 1812, has not ceased to be cor- 
rect ; ' the houses are generally well built : frequently handsome : and very 
rarely small, old, or unrepaired. Few towns in New England exhibit so uni- 
form an appearance of neatness and taste, or contain so great a proportion of 
good buildings, and so small a proportion of those which are indifferent, as 

Villages have grown up around the manufacturing establishments. New 
Worcester is situated on the road to Leicester : TrowhriJgeville, on the road 
to Oxford : South Worcester, on that leading to Ward: the Quinsigamond 
Village, on the Millbury road : Adams Square, upon the old road to Lancas- 
ter : Northville, on the road to West Boylston, 

Streets. The most ancient passage way through the town is Main street, 
used in 1674, and constantly traveled over since 1713. It is still the princi- 
pal avenue of the town, extending about a mile from north to south. It is 
broad and planted with fine shade trees. ^ 

Nearly contemporary with the permanent settlement, was the establishment 
by use, of a road from the Meeting House to Pine meadow, now Front street ; 
of a path to the first burial place, over a part of Summer street ; and the Lan- 
caster way, through Lincoln street. The roads now Salisbury, Pleasant, 
Green, and Grafton streets, existed at a very early period. 

Mechanic street was laid out in 1787. In 1806, Isaiah Thomas made and 
gave to the inhabitants the street called by his name. It was planted through 
its whole length with poplars, perhaps fortunately destroyed, soon after, by 
some malicious person.' 

Most of the other streets have been opened within the last five or six years 
by individuals at their private expense, as the increasing population has ren- 
dered it desirable to occupy their lands for buildings. 

The length of roads within the town in 1826, was equal to 82 miles and 88 
rods. At present the extent would exceed 100 miles. 

Turnpikes. At the beginning of the century, great improvements were 

1 Dwight's Travels, i. 366. Letter xxxvi. 

2 The time when these beautiful ornaments of the village were first set, appears from 
an ordinance for their protection, April 7, 1783 : ' Whereas, a number of persons have 
manifested a disposition to set out trees for shade, near the meeting house, and elsewhere 
about the centre of the town, and the town being very desirous of encouraging such a 
measure, which will be beneficial as well as ornamental, Voted, that any person being an 
inhabitant of this town, who shall injure or destroy such trees so set out, shall pay a fine 
not exceeding 20s. for every ofiFence to the use of the poor.' Other and more strict munici- 
pal regulations have from time to time been adopted for their preservation. 

^ The following memoranda from the interleaved almanacs of Isaiah Thomas, Esq. show 
something of the customs of the time. ' 1806. October 6. Finished work on the new 
street. The selectmen came and surveyed it and laid it out in form. The Light Infantry 
comj-any, under arms, commanded by Capt. Flagg, marched through it, halted on the 
bridge, and discharged three vollies. The gentlemen of the street prepared a large tub 
and two pails full of excellent punch, and the selectmen, at the request of those present, 
and in conformity to their own proposal, named the street Thomas street. The Infantry 
company had as much punch as they chose to drink, and all present. Three cheers were 
given, and the company marched oflF.' 


made in internal communication by the establishment of these highways. A 
corporation was chartered for building a turnpike to Stafford, in Connecticut, 
Feb. 15, 1806 : and March 17, 1806, the Worcester turnpike was incorpora- 
ted. It was a favorite principle with the engineers of that time, that roads 
must be carried on a straight line between the points to be connected, with- 
out any deviation from the direct course to conform to the undulation of the 
surface. On this plan, the turnpike to Boston, going out from the north end 
of the village, went through a considerable eminence by a deep cutting, pass- 
ed a deep valley on a lofty embankment, ascended the steep slope of Mill- 
stone hill, crossed Quinsigamond by a floating bridge, and climbed to some of 
the highest elevations of the country it traversed, when inconsiderable circuit 
would have furnished better and less costly route. These undertakings, of 
great convenience and utility in the period of their construction, have been 
more beneficial to the public than the proprietors. 

The Worcester and Fitzwilliam Turnpike, incorporated June 15, 1805, was 
not completed : the Worcester and Sutton, March 3, 1810, and Worcester 
and Leicester, Feb. 29, 1812, were not commenced. 

Blackstone Canal. The project of opening a navigable communication 
from the waters of Narragansett bay in Rhode Island, to the centre of Massa- 
chusetts, through the valley of the Blackstone, first engaged public attention 
in 1796. The author and patron of one of the earliest attempts to connect 
the interior with the seaboard, by a water highway, was the late John Brown 
of Providence. The whole weight of his wealth, intelligence, and zeal, were 
lent to the enterprise. Public meetings were held, and warm interest in the 
undertaking excited. In Rhode Island, a charter was obtained. The peti- 
tion of inhabitants of Worcester county, praying for incorporation for the 
opening of ' inland navigation from the navigable waters near Providence, to 
the interior parts of Worcester county, and if feasible, to Connecticut river,' 
was presented at the May session of the General Court of the Commonwealth, 
in 1796. At the same time, a counter plan, which had the effect, if not the 
intent, of defeating the former, was started, of constructing a canal from Bos- 
ton to the Connecticut river : the application for the Providence canal was re- 
fused, and the projectors, left without power to execute the work, were com- 
pelled to abandon the undertaking. Surveys were soon after made for the 
Massachusetts Canal, under the direction of Gen. Henry Knox, and with their 
conclusion terminated the exertions of the subscribers. 

In 1822, by a general movement, the plan was revived and subscriptions 
opened for a survey, completed in October of the same year. Acts of incor- 
poration were obtained for distinct companies in each state, subsequently uni- 
ted, July 5, 1825, under the name of the Blackstone Canal Company. In 
1824, the excavation was commenced in Rhode Island; in 1826, the first 
earth was removed in Massachusetts, near Thomas street. The first boat 
which passed through the whole extent, arrived at the upper basin, Oct. 7, 

Three Commissioners had been elected in each state, acting in cooperation 
during the construction : on the union, the same gentlemen were elected on 


one board : they were Edward Carrington, Moses B. Ives, and Stephen H. 
Smith of Providence, John Davis, John W. Lincoln, and Sylvanus Holbrook 
of Massachusetts. For some time past, Thomas Burgess has had the sole direc- 
tion. The expense of the work was about $750,000. Of this amount more 
than half a million of dollars was paid by the citizens of Rhode Island, and the 
work, projected by the intelligence was principally executed by the capital of 
our sister state. 

The canal has been more useful to the public, than to the owners : the 
amount of transportation, however, has increased. 

The Boston and Worcester RaiI/Road was incorporated, June 23, 1831. 
The road, extending 44 miles eastward, is laid with a single track of edge 
rails, on cast iron chairs, resting on wooden sleepers, bedded in trenches filled 
with stone. The cost of construction has been $1500000, including land, la- 
bor, cars, engines and buildings. Passenger cars, go in each direction, three 
times daily during the warm months, and twice in the cold season, except on 
Sundays. The time is from 2^ to 3 hours, including stops at ten places : the 
fare has been $1,50, but in the autumn of 1836, was raised to S2. The freight 
of merchandize from Boston to Worcester, by the ton, is $3,50 : from Wor- 
cester to Boston $3. A branch railroad is soon to be laid to Millbury. 

About a mile from the depot on Main street, the road passes through a 
deep cutting of the slate rock, about 30 feet in its greatest depth, and extend- 
ing about 30 rods. The strata are almost perpendicular, and Avere removed 
from their beds by a laborious process of blasting. 

The Norwich and Worcester Railroad Company was incorporated 
March 26, 1833. A charter had been previously obtained in Connecticut, for 
the route within her jurisdiction, at the May session, 1832. By an act of 
this Commonwealth, April 10, and of that state, May 1836, the two compa- 
nies were united. From Norwich to Worcester is 58 miles : to Boston 102. 
The work of construction is now advancing. The capital stock is $1500000. 

The Western Railroad Corporation was established, March 15, 1833, 
for the purpose of building a railroad from the western termination of the Bos- 
ton and Worcester Railroad to Connecticut River in Springfield, and thence 
across the stream to the Avestern boundary of the state, where it will connect 
with railroads in progress, one to Albany, one to Troy, and one to Hudson. 
The stock of $3000000 has been subscribed, two thirds by individuals, and 
one third by the state, and a portion of the road located,^ 

Public Buildings. It is a curious circumstance, that the earliest provi- 
sion for the erection of any county building, in a community of moral, order- 
ly, and religious habits, should relate to the confinement of malefactors. 

At the first meeting of the Court of General Sessions of the Peace, Sept. 2, 
1731, it was ordered, that a prison should be built, and that, Avith his consent, 

1 A statement of the amount of transportation by the Canal and Railroad, will be found 
in the appendix. 


the house of William Jennison-* should be used as a temporary gaol : a suit- 
able cage was to be built in the back part, and the liberties of the yard were 
to extend 20 feet on the south side and east end. 

In February following, the court ordered, ' that in lieu of the prison before 
appointed, the cage so called, already built, be removed to the chamber of the 
house of Daniel HeyAvood," and be the gaol until the chamber be suitably fin- 
ished for a gaol, and then the chamber be the gaol for the county, and the 
cage remain as one of the apartments.' Here the prisoners were confined un- 
til they were placed in the building erected in 1733,® 41 feet long, 18 feet 
wide, with 8 feet studs : the prison part was 1 8 feet square, made of white oak 
timber, set with studs, 4 inches thick and 5 inches broad, and floored, roofed 
and ceiled with two inch plank spiked together. A dungeon was stoned 
under : the other end, finished as a dwelling house, became part of the But- 
man tavern, and was destroyed by fire, Dec. 23, 1824. 

In 1753, a new gaol was built a few rods south of the former prison, 38 feet 
long, 28 feet wide, with 7 feet posts. The south end was studded with joist 
six inches square, set five inches apart, and filled between with stone and 
mortar. The top, sides, and floor, were covered inside and out, with oak 
plank, fastened with a profuse use of iron spikes, and doors, windows, and 
partitions were heavily grated. 

Notwithstanding these precautions for security, many eff'ected escape, and 
the wooden gaol becoming too infirm for the confinement of dangerous per- 
sons, a structure of massive granite, 64 by 32 feet, three stories in height, 
was ordered to be erected in Dec. 1784, on land granted by the Common- 
wealth, and £500 were appropriated for the expense. This was completed 
Sept. 4, 1788, and Mr. Thomas remarks, ' this is judged to be at least the 
second stone building of consequence in the Commonwealth ; none being 
thought superior except the Stone Chapel in Boston : that is built of hewn 
stone ; the stones of this are mostly as they were taken from the quarry. The 
master workman, Mr. John Parks of Groton, has acquired great credit for the 
ingenuity and fidelity with which he has executed the work. A great saving 
must be experienced from the new building, as, without some convulsion of 
nature, it is not probable that it will need any repairs, excepting the roof, for 
two or three centuries.' And he adds ' that the capaciousness of the building 
will make it answer for a work house, and save the county the expense of 
erecting one.' 

The course of nature Avent on undisturbed, but the increase of crime and 
the improvements of discipline, prevented the permanency which was expect- 
ed by the founders. The ' capaciousness ' was insufficient for modern use, 
and in April 1835, the gaol was transferred to the House of Correction: the 
land and buildings were sold, and the prison demolished. 

CouKT Houses. It was ordered, Aug. 8, 1732, that a suitable and con- 
venient court house be built on land given by William Jennison, Esq., and a 
committee was instructed to inform those ' who had an interest in lands in thi 

1 Occupied by Dr. Oliver Fiske in 1836. - Part of the buildings of the Central Hotel. 
8 On land of Stephen Salisbury, Esq, east of the south extremity of Lincoln street. 


county, and especially in the town of Worcester, which, by that town's being 
made the shire town, are greatly advanced, of the court's intention : and to 
know what any of them will be pleased to give towards building and adorning 
the house.' This building, placed very near the site of the present edifice, 
was of wood, 36 feet long, 26 feet wide, with 13 feet posts. Until its com- 
pletion, courts were held in the meeting house. The address of Chief Justice 
John Chandler, of Woodstock, delivered Feb. 8, 1734, at the opening of the 
Courts of General Sessions and Common Pleas, published in the Boston 
Weekly Rehearsal, Feb. 18, 1734, shows the ideas of beauty and magnificence 
entertained in that period. 

Taking occasion to speak from * some instances of the Divine Providence 
remarkably favorable to us,' he says, * It demands our observation and ac- 
knowledgment, .... that we are now entered into a new and beautiful 
house, erected purposely for the reception and entertainment of the courts, 
which for the future are to be held within the same, at the occurring seasons 
thereof: an article that I know not the like in any county within this prov- 
ince, so soon after the constitution thereof, it being but about thirty months since 
we held our first court.' . . . . ' It is our duty on this occasion, .... very 
thankfully to acknowledge the good hand of God's Providence upon us, who 
has stirred up and opened the hearts of sundry worthy gentlemen, some of 
whom live in other parts of the province, to be benefactors to us, by assisting 
us in our infant state to erect and beautify so agreeable a house as we are in 
the possession of, and which exceeds so many others in the province built for 
the like service, in the capaciousness, regularity, and workmanship thereof: 
so that those who have business to be transacted here, may now and hence- 
forth, be suitably and conveniently accommodated with room, while they at- 
tend the courts, without intruding on that which we have been necessitated 
to use hitherto, though designedly built for another purpose. To God be 
the glory ascribed, as the unmerited effects of the Divine Favor to us : not- 
withstanding which, our benefactors and their benefactions, should be very 
gratefully remembered by us.' 

After a few years, the edifice thus commemorated, was found to be too 
small for the purpose of its erection, and a new court house was ordered to be 
built March 16, 1751, of greater dimensions. It was 36 feet by 40 in size, 
and after being the temple of justice forty years, was converted into a dwell- 
ing house, and still stands at the intersection of Franklin and Green streets. 

The increasing business of the county requiring larger accommodations, the 
present court house was commenced in 1801, and opened Sept. 27, 1803.^ 

1 In the charge of Chief Justice Robert Treat Paine, Sept. 27, 1803, to the grand jury, he 
says, ' We meet you with great pleasure at this first opportunity of our assembling with 
you to attend the administration of justice within the walls of this magnificent building. 
On this occasion, we can but recollect what has been said, that when the proposal, in 1731, 
was made, in General Court, for erecting this County, some great politician of that day, 
[Gov. Hutchinson,] objected to it, because, from the then appearance of the country, it 
must be a great length of time before it would be an object for county jurisdiction ; and 
that there are some now, who well remember when the territory which composes this coun- 
ty, was, in many parts, but thinly inhabited, and but just emerging from a wilderness 


The lower story is appropriated for county offices ; the next contains the 
court room and lobbies for jurors. 

The following inscription on a silver plate inclosed in a leaden box, with 
several ancient silver coins of Massachusetts, (shillings and sixpences,) and 
some modern money, was deposited in a cavity cut for the purpose in the 
lower corner stone of the hewn underpinning on the south east. 

' The corner stone was laid Oct. 1, 1801, by Isaiah Thomas, Esq. who with 
William Caldwell, Esq. Sheriff of the County, and Hon. Salem Towne, were 
appointed a committee for building and completing this (now intended) Court 
House. The old Court House now stands two feet southeast from this spot, 

William Lancaster of Boston, was employed as master workman of the ex- 
terior, and Mr. Baxter, of the interior. 

The cost of the court house, furniture for the public offices, and brick walls 
of the yard, with a part of the stone walls, iron railings, and embankments in 
front, was 817,830 ; an additional allowance was made to Mr. Baxter, and the 
whole charges when completed were about $20,000. 

The County House of Coekection, first occupied in November, 1819, is 
situated east of the village, and not far from the Hospital. The front of the 
building, a large and handsome structure 53 by 27 feet, is occupied by the 
keeper's family, except the north side of the basement, where three cells are 
appropriated for solitary imprisonment, and the punishment of the refractory, 
fortunately but little used. The part used for confinement is in the rear of 
the keeper's apartments. The plan of construction first adopted was found 
to be bad : the rooms were large, and several convicts were, from necessity, 
placed together ; so that sometimes, novices in crime were associated with 
veteran off'enders, and the establishment, with all vigilance and fidelity of 
supervision, was more the nursery of vice than the school of reformation. Im- 
pressed with the evils of this arrangement, the County Commissioners, in 
1832, directed an alteration in conformity with a plan submitted by the Over- 
seers, resembling that of the State's Prison in Charlestown. The whole 
interior was taken down, and another building erected within the exterior 
walls, divided into 40 cells, each 7 feet by 3 1-2 feet in size, 7 feet high, 
receiving light through iron doors properly made for the purpose, opening 
into the area around, which is warmed by stoves. In the basement are three 
Qther rooms for confinement, and on the same floor with the kitchen is the 

state of uncultivated roughness : and until our happy revolution took place, its appearance 
was but small in cnniparlson of what we now behold. The grandeur of this building is a 
striking proof of that prosperity of the inhabitants, which flowed from the fruitful foun- 
tain, the revolution, and the good government and wholesome laws consequent upon it. 
And we also, can but consider it as strong evidence of the good disposition of the inhabi- 
tants, respecting social and political regulations ; of their determination to support the 
constitution and government of this Commonwealth and the due administration of justice 
among them ; seeing they have made such ample provision therefor. May these walls re- 
main consecrated to the pure administration of Justice ; here may the injured always find 
redress, the oppressed be relieved, and the disturbers of public peace and welfare be 
brought to condign punishment.' 

















sleeping apartment of the assistant keeper, placed so as to afford him inspec- 
tion of the area in front of the cells, and security from injury by the prisoners 
in case of revolt. 

In April, 1835, a part of the building was appropriated for the county gaol : 
and the two upper stories of cells, with the moms above and below the 
kitchen, were occupied fjr that purpose. A brick buil ling, 40 feet by 16, in 
the yard, connected with the house, furnishes workshops in the two lower 
stories ; the third story, having six rooms, is used for the confinement of 
females. There is also a wooden building, which has been used for working 
stone. By a recent order of the County Commissioners, all persons confined 
in the House of Correction, able to labor, are to be constantly employed ac- 
cording to their ability ; if not acquainted with any mechanic trade, they 
work at the shoe business. Under this system, it is probable, the convicts 
will not only be able to remunerate the expense of their support, but may 
form habits of industry and derive moral improvement. 

The following statement shows the condition of the House of Correction 
during years, each ending in November. 


Committed for crime, 5 

for correction, 58 

Discharged in the year, 48 

Remaining. Xov. 1, 15 

Among those now in the establishment, are 3 lunatics sent from the hos- 
pital, and 5 insane persons supported there by their friends, with the consent 
of the Commissioners. 

John F. Clark has been keeper from the commencement : Nathan Heard 
and John VV. Lincoln, are overseers. 

Lunatic Hospital. This monument of the enlightened charity of the gov- 
ernment of the state, is situated on a beautiful eminence eastward of the town. 
The buildings of the west front, erected in 1831, consist of a centre, 76 feet 
long, 40 feet wide, and four stories high, projecting 22 feet forward of the wings, 
which extend to the north and south ninety feet each on the front and 100 feet 
in the rear, are 36 feet wide, and three stories high. This arrangement was 
adopted so as to secure free communication with the central structure, occupied 
by the superintendent, steward, attendants, and domestics, and to permit the 
ventilation and lighting of the long halls reaching through the wings. The ranges 
of apartments for the insane, 8 feet by 10, have each a window with the upper 
sash of cast iron and lower sash of wood, both glazed ; on the exterior of the 
wooden sash is a false sash of iron, corresponding in its appearance and 
dimensions, but firmly set into the frame, giving the reality of a grate without 
its gloomy aspect. In 1835, a building 134 feet in length and 34 feet in 
width was attached to the southern extremity of the hospital, of equal height, 
and extending eastward at right angles with the front ; in 1 836, another edifice 
of the same magnitude, was placed at the north end. Three sides of a great 
square are now enclosed by these immense structures of brick. Provision is 
made for the diffusion of heat, the circulation of air, the supply of water; and 


the most judicious regulations promote the health and comfort of the inmates. 

In this hospital, those are placed under restraint by public authority, who 
are so furiously mad, that their liberty would endanger the safety of the com- 
munity. To feel its value, one must have heard the chained maniacs howling 
in the dungeons of the common gaols, in frantic excitement and hopeless 
misery, and seen the quiet of the great establishment where the insane re- 
ceive every alleviation of their mental diseases, which fit accommodations, re- 
medial treatment, and high skill can bestow. 

The institution has been under the superintendence of Dr. Samuel B. 
Woodward since its commencement. Its statistics are fully detailed in the 
reports annually made by the Trustees to the Legislature. 

Churches. The first house appropriated for public worship, was built 
like the log huts of the planters, and placed near the intersection of Green 
street by Franklin street, about 1717. 

In 1719, a meeting house was built, under a contract with Mr. Constable, 
as architect, on the site of the present South Church. It was of respectable 
dimensions, but had no tower. At first, the area of the interior, floored, but 
otherwise unfinished, was occupied by benches. In 1723, a pulpit was set up, 
and the space divided into long seats ; and soon after, galleries were provided. 
In 1733, it was voted ' that the front of the gallery, the pulpit, and pillars, be 
colored and varnished, and the outside of the doors and windows ; and the 
town thankfully accepts the £8 ofiered by Col. Chandler, towards the same ; 
and being informed that Daniel Gookin, Esq. has been pleased to say, he 
would give something to said work, voted, that a committee be desired to 
know of him what he will give towards said coloring and varnishing.' In 
1743 a spire was erected. 

In 1763 the The Old South Meeting House was built, 70 feet long, 55 
feet wide, with 28 feet posts, at the expense of £1542. There were 61 square 
pews on the lower floor. That esteemed the best, on the west side of the 
pulpit, and directly under it, valued at £9, was assigned to Hon. John 
Chandler, as an acknowledgment of his donation of £40 towards erecting the 
church. The highest price paid for pews was £9, the lowest £4 10s. In 
front of the pulpit, were two long pews, one for the deacons, the other for 
aged persons ; and along the head of the central aisle, were seven slips, for 
the free seats of men and women, placed on opposite sides. There were 
three porches, at the south, east, and west entrances, and a tower on the 
north surmounted by a spire, 1 30 feet high. 

In the day of small things, the purchase of a bell was an important matter. 
After many conferences, the town and county united their funds for the pur- 
pose, and in May, 1739, it was agreed, that the town would pay £60 towards 
procuring a bell weighing not less than 300 pounds, and half the expense of 
a frame for hanging it near a small tree, a little north of Capt. Daniel Hey- 
wood's, about midway between the meeting house and court house, ' to serve 
the town as well as the county.' In 1740, difficulties arose in completing 
the arrangements ; the partnership was dissolved ; the town paid £140 pounds 
for the whole bell, and it was placed in the steeple. 


The bell now used, cast by Revere and Sons, in Boston, in 1802, -weighing 
1975 pounds, bears this inscription, 

' The living to the church I call, 
And to the grave I summon all.' 

The tower clock was made by Abel Stowell, in IS^^O. 

The Old South Church has been enlarged, and is now 90 feet long, and 55 
wide, having a vestry at the south end. 

Ufiitarian Church. The first Meeting House of the Second Congregational 
Society, near Antiquarian Hall, on Summer street, was built by Ignatius 
Goulding and Elias Blake, on land given to the parish, June 16, 1791, by 
Charles and Samuel Chandler. It was a plain and neat edifice of wood. A 
bell was purchased, and a tower clock presented by Isaiah Thomas, Esq., both 
removed, and still used on the new church. 

The new brick meeting house on Main street, was erected at an expense of 
about $13,000, on land purchased of Isaiah Thomas, Esq. at the cost of 
84000.^ The foundation was laid August 11, 1828, when an address was de- 
livered by the Rev. Mr. Hill,^ and religious services performed by the Rev. 
Dr. Bancroft. 

This building is 75 feet from east to west, and 68 feet from north to south : 
the walls 31 feet in height, and the tower, surmounted by a cupola, 125 feet 
high. The floor is divided into 104 pews. It was dedicated Aug. 20, 1829. 
The highest price paid for pews was $337, the lowest, $80. This church has 
an organ purchased for $2,000. 

The Calvinist Church, on Main street, built in 1823, and enlarged in 1834, 
is 93 by 57: the height of the spire 130 feet. There are 94 pews on the 
floor, which have been sold from $116 to $200 each. An organ has lately 
been purchased for $1700. 

The Union Church, on Front street, built in 1836, is 90 by 54 feet in size, 
including a vestry, with a spire 130 feet high. The organ cost $1200. 

The Baptist Church, east of the common, rebuilt in 1836, is 79 feet long, 
50 wide, and has a spire 138 feet in height. 

Christ Church, on Temple street, built in 1836, the Catholic place of wor- 
ship, is a neat structure of the Grecian Doric order, 64 feet by 32, fronting 
to the south. 

The Methodist Clmrch, on Columbian avenue, built in 1836, 66 feet long 
and 48 feet wide, with a spire about 100 feet high. 

The Centee School House, on Main street, built in 1792, is about 60 

1 The following inscriptiop was deposited under the corner stone of its foundation. ' This 
house was erected by the Unitarian Congregational Sociity, Worcester, for the worship of 
the one God, through the meiliafion of .Jesus Christ. Foundation laid August 11, 1S28. 
John Quincy Adam.s. rre.>-i It-nt of the United States. Levi Lincoln, Governor of Massa- 
chusetts. Rev. Aaron Bancroft. D. D. and Rev. Alonzo Hill, Pastors. Frederick W. 
Paine, Esq., Rjjoice Newto >, E-q.. Deac. Alpheus Merrifield, Col. Samuel Ward, Capt. 
George T. Rice, ("apt. Lewis Barnard, I'liny Merrick, Esq., Building Committee. Elias 
Carter, Peter Kendall, Master Builders. 

2 Published in the National ^gis, August 13, 1828. 


by 30 feet, and its four apartments are occupied by the primary and female 
school of the district. 

The Brick School House, on Thomas street, built in 1832, 67 by 30 
feet, is appropriated for the Latin grammar school, and higher boys schools. 

The Town Hall, a neat brick building of fine architectural proportions, 
built in 1825, at an expense of about $10,000, is 54 by 64 feet. The base- 
ment is occupied for keeping fire apparatus, and for stores. A large hall on 
the first floor is used for town meetings, religious exercises, and public lec- 
tures. There are two spacious and neat halls on the second floor. An ad- 
dress was delivered at the dedication. May 2, 1825, by Hon. John Davis. 

ANTiQUARiAiSr Hall. The centre building, erected by Isaiah Thomas, in 
1819, is 46 feet long and 36 feet wide, with a cupola. Wings were extended 
in 1832, each 28 feet long and 21 feet wide. 

Worcester County Manual Labor High School. The Academy 
building is of brick, two stories in height, with a basement, and is 45 feet by 
60 in exterior dimensions. The first story aff'ords a convenient recitation 
room, and a chapel which may contain two hundred persons. The upper floor 
is divided into twelve rooms ; one for the instructors : one for library and 
apparatus ; and ten, neatly furnished, for the accommodation of students. A 
mansion with proper outbuildings has been erected in the vicinity of the 
Academy for the residence of the superintendent and students. 

Public Lands. The lands granted for the support of schools and the 
ministry by the proprietors, were sold, from time to time ; the proceeds in- 
vested ; and the interest, and flnally the principal, applied to the purposes of 
the original appropriation. 

The land near the meeting house was early reserved for a training field, 
and has remained open for military exercise and public exhibitions. The 
location of the Norwich Railroad across this tract, will impair its use as a 
square, and leave no spot of the common territory susceptible of being converted 
into an ornamented ground for the use of the crowded population. 

August 27, 1733, the proprietors voted ' that 100 acres of the poorest land 
of Millstone Hill, be left common for the use of the town for building stones.' 
A subsequent grant was made of the territory to Daniel Heywood. The Su- 
preme Court have determined, that a perpetual interest in the land for the 
limited use of taking stone, passed to the town by the first grant ; and the 
fee of the soil, subject to this use, to the grantee, by the second.-^ 

Burial Places. The most ancient burial place of Worcester was north 
of the intersection of Thomas street with Summer street. It is now included 
in the enclosure around the brick school house, and the children of the pre- 
sent generation frolic over the remains of those whose graves were earliest 
made. Rachel, daughter of John and Jean Kellough, was the first person 
who died in the town, Dec. 15, 1717. The number of deaths which occurred 
from that date to the time when another cemetery was occupied, were 28. 

1 lahabitants of Worcester vs. William E. Green, Pickering's Reports, ii. 425. 


Among them were some of the founders and first settlers. They were laid 
beneath old oaks, which long shadowed their place of rest. 

The burying place bordering on the common, was opened in 1730, when 
Ephraim Roper, accidentally killed in hunting, was interred there. When 
this became too populous for new occupation, another place of sepulture was 
proviCed, in 1795, on Mechanic street, and now adjoining the Boston Rail- 
road. In 1828, a tract of eight acres was purchased on the plain, east of 
Washington square, which has since been divided by the railroad. A tract 
of about 20 acres, half a mile westward of the village, was purchased in 1835, 
laid out as a cemetery, and is to be ornamented with a belt of shade trees. 
There is a grave yard between South Worcester and New Worcester.^ 

Face of the Town. The whole surface is undulating, swelling into hills 
of moderate acclivity, with gentle slope and beautifully rounded outline. 
From the eminences, the prospect is of the wide-spread and highly improved 
fields of a fertile soil. Better description cannot be given of the valley of 
Worcester, than by adopting the Avords of a writer of high authority. ' Apart 
from human culture,' says Prof. Hitchcock, ' this geographical centre of Mas- 
sachusetts would present no very striking attractions to the lover of natural 
scenery. But this valley possesses precisely those features which art is capa- 
ble of rendering extremely fascinating. And there is scarcely to be met with, 
in this or any other country, a more charming landscape than Worcester pre- 
sents, from almost any of the moderately-elevated hills that surround it. The 
high state of agriculture in every part of the valley, and the fine taste and 
neatness exhibited in all the buildings of this flourishing town, with the great 
elegance of many edifices, and the intermingling of so many and fine shade 
and fruit trees, spread over the prospect beauty of a high order, on which the 
eye delights to linger. I have never seen, in a community of equal extent, 
so few marks of poverty and human degradation, as in this valley : and it is 
this aspect of comfort and independence among all classes, that enhances 
greatly the pleasure with which every true American heart contemplates this 
scene : since it must b